State police not notified of chemical release for three days - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

State police not notified of Westlake chemical release for three days

Cleanup grew contracted by ConocoPhillips cleans pickup truck in Westlake neighborhood Cleanup grew contracted by ConocoPhillips cleans pickup truck in Westlake neighborhood

by Brandon Richards bio | email

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC-TV) – Louisiana State Police are now looking into the circumstances surrounding an airborne release of heavy fuel oil into a Westlake neighborhood; as many wonder why troopers were not notified about the incident, as required, until 72 hours later.

On early Friday morning, ConocoPhillips said their Lake Charles refinery suffered an equipment malfunction, which sent a mist of oil into a nearby neighborhood. The mist of oil was eventually deposited on outdoor furniture, vehicles and mailboxes.

Residents discovered droplets of oil on their vehicles Saturday morning

On Monday, ConocoPhillips took responsibility for the matter.

ConocoPhillips said short-term exposure to the droplets should not cause any health effects. However, the company noted there could be health effects from long-term exposure.

On Tuesday, the company handed out letters to affected residents informing them about the process to have their property cleaned.

And while some residents decided to take advantage of the offer, others were upset about the process. For instance, residents said the company offered to clean their cars, but only at a location in Lake Charles. Other residents believe it's too late to clean up the oil droplets completely, claiming they've already become embedded beneath the surface of their soiled outdoor furniture.

"We have to clean our cars at a certain place and that's all they're wanting us to do is clean our cars," said Mark Wilson, one of the affected residents. "They're telling us how to clean our furniture and everything. That's not going to get rid of the problem. It's still in the ground."

"It's very stressful. I wish it would all go away along with the rain," said Tabitha McNabb, a resident of Ellis Drive who has helped lead her neighbors with the response to the oil mist. "Just wash it away with the rain, but it won't. It's still there no matter how you clean it."

One aspect Louisiana State Police will be investigating is why ConocoPhillips waited until Monday evening to notify them of the release, something required any time there is a chemical-related spill or accident.

"This is an ongoing investigation and once we have a conclusion on the investigation, we'll have more details to release," said Louisiana State Police Troop D Public Information Officer Sgt. James Anderson.

In a statement on Monday, ConocoPhillips said it was not initially aware the release had affected nearby residents.

In a statement to 7 News on Thursday evening, ConocoPhillips said they "apologize for the inconvenience that this incident has caused and we appreciate the cooperation of our neighbors as we work to complete this work promptly and effectively."

ConocoPhillips has partnered with several local businesses to help with the cleanup efforts.

ConocoPhillips is urging affected residents who need soiled property cleaned to contact their claims line at 1-800-766-6362.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is testing the substance. Results are expected in two and a half weeks.

Copyright 2010 KPLC-TV.  All Rights Reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Leesville art exhibit honors former state park Hodges Gardens

    Leesville art exhibit honors former state park Hodges Gardens

    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:04:17 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    Last October Louisiana lost a hidden gem---Hodges Gardens.  The state couldn't fund the park anymore, and with no one willing to step in and keep it running, it finally closed down.  But a local art exhibit in Leesville wants to preserve the garden's memory and inspire someone to consider opening it again.  On the walls of Gallery One Ellleven you'll find the beauty of Hodges Gardens.  Last summer Jerry Keeton decided he wanted to create water color painti...

    More >>

    Last October Louisiana lost a hidden gem---Hodges Gardens.  The state couldn't fund the park anymore, and with no one willing to step in and keep it running, it finally closed down.  But a local art exhibit in Leesville wants to preserve the garden's memory and inspire someone to consider opening it again.  On the walls of Gallery One Ellleven you'll find the beauty of Hodges Gardens.  Last summer Jerry Keeton decided he wanted to create water color painti...

    More >>
  • Shrimp and Jazz Fest is Saturday June 23rd

    Shrimp and Jazz Fest is Saturday June 23rd

    Shrimp and Jazz Fest is Saturday June 23rd

    Friday, June 22 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:45:05 GMT
    image courtesy of thechangetrend.comimage courtesy of thechangetrend.com
    image courtesy of thechangetrend.comimage courtesy of thechangetrend.com
    Jazz music has been a staple of Louisiana's culture for many years, and you can help celebrate it this weekend. The Gulf Coast Shrimp and Jazz Festival runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Saturday, June 23rd. Jazz in the Arts is hosting a free jazz workshop before the festival starting at 9, and Jazz After Dark will follow the festival at 7 p.m.  Musician Mickey Smith Junior, with be performing at the event. Mickey Smith Jr. said in a statem...More >>
    Jazz music has been a staple of Louisiana's culture for many years, and you can help celebrate it this weekend. The Gulf Coast Shrimp and Jazz Festival runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Saturday, June 23rd. Jazz in the Arts is hosting a free jazz workshop before the festival starting at 9, and Jazz After Dark will follow the festival at 7 p.m.  Musician Mickey Smith Junior, with be performing at the event. Mickey Smith Jr. said in a statem...More >>
  • Compromise reached in special session

    Compromise reached in special session

    Friday, June 22 2018 9:28 PM EDT2018-06-23 01:28:47 GMT
    Rep. Paula Davis, a first-term legislator, presented the compromise bill that resolved a battle in the House over renewing part of a cent of state sales tax. (Source: Sarah Gamard/LSU Manship School News Service)Rep. Paula Davis, a first-term legislator, presented the compromise bill that resolved a battle in the House over renewing part of a cent of state sales tax. (Source: Sarah Gamard/LSU Manship School News Service)

    By Paul Braun, Drew White, and Tryfon Boukouvidis LSU Manship School News Service BATON ROUGE--The House erupted into cheers Friday after voting 74-24 to renew 0.45 percent of an expiring penny of sales tax until 2025, breaking a huge logjam and reaching a compromise with Gov. John Bel Edwards after nearly five months of intense fighting. The bill would generate $466 million in additional revenue next year, falling $102 million short of the $648 million that Edwards had originally ...

    More >>

    By Paul Braun, Drew White, and Tryfon Boukouvidis LSU Manship School News Service BATON ROUGE--The House erupted into cheers Friday after voting 74-24 to renew 0.45 percent of an expiring penny of sales tax until 2025, breaking a huge logjam and reaching a compromise with Gov. John Bel Edwards after nearly five months of intense fighting. The bill would generate $466 million in additional revenue next year, falling $102 million short of the $648 million that Edwards had originally ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly