A hazardous materials team was called in for a fuel leak at Pilot Travel Center Tuesday afternoon. Crews remained at the location working Wednesday morning.
Sulphur Springs dispatchers were first contacted around 3 p.m. July 6, 2021, by someone reporting oil or diesel fuel bubbling up from the ground outside of the South Hillcrest Drive truck stop. The leak appears to be either diesel or biodiesel leaking from a tank or piping at the business. The visible stream leaked into a concrete drainage ditch just south of the passenger vehicle parking lot. The substance crept west, making the turn to Hillcrest Dr, according to Sulphur Springs Fire Department officials.
A substance, that looked like red soil, was put down to staunch the flow and prevent it from spreading further. Lone Star Hazmat Response was on scene at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Their equipment was used to pump the leaking substance to a tank, with SSFD standing by onsite to monitor the situation. SSFD had a station crew at the site around 11 p.m. Tuesday night and at 8 a.m. Wednesday with an engine as well.
SSFD officials reported the fuel was still leaking at 8 a.m. July 7. State officials from several agencies which have oversight of these types of situations, including Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have been contacted and were expected to visit the site Wednesday. Once the flow is stopped, cleanup can begin, and is expected to take multiple days, city officials reported.
Tuesday evening, 18-wheelers that pulled into Pilot to refuel with diesel had to make a U-turn in the parking lot and seek fuel elsewhere, as the pump for diesel was taken out of service due to the ongoing situation.