Oil sheen on Moss Lake worries residents

Oil sheen on Moss Lake worries residents
Wednesday residents noticed an oily substance on Moss Lake and accumulating on the shore and docks (Source: Theresa Schmidt kplc)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Residents along Moss Lake complain there’s some type of slick or sheen on the lake.

They first noticed an oily substance on the water washing up on the bank and the docks.

Louisiana environmental officials say Wednesday a valve on a line failed at Calcasieu Refining Company on Tank Farm Road and leaked light crude.

A Department of Environmental Quality spokesman says the leak was stopped quickly.

“Wednesday, a bleeder valve on a flow line failed at Calcasieu Refining Company on Tank Farm Road. The leak was stopped quickly. Boom and pads were deployed to try to contain the escaped product, and a skimmer was brought in to remove oil that wound up in the Calcasieu River, although most of it did not leave the facility. An environmental cleanup contractor has come in to do the cleanup, and they have recovered 40.5 barrels of oil/water mix from the river. The product is a light sweet crude,” said Greg Langley, DEQ spokesman.

The pollution is a concern to residents like Donna and Kevin Johnson, who live on the lake.

"The concerns are the actual damage to the estuary as far as the property and the vegetation, the marine life, the wildlife, domestic pets, us, as far as having to smell this diesel smell all the time," said Kevin.

They say their year-old Labrador retriever, Buddy, jumped into the water on Wednesday and came out covered with oil.

Donna says they bathed him and have a variety of concerns including their dog’s health.

“We’re concerned about the fish, concerned about, we crab. We catch fish here. Health, we aren't sure what the long-term consequences are going to be,” she said."

DEQ says the cleanup will continue Thursday.

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