CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the water issues in Corpus Christi (all times local):
More than a half-dozen lawsuits have been filed against oil refiner Valero and a company it leases a plant to in Corpus Christi since city officials issued notice of a possible chemical spill Wednesday.
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports (http://bit.ly/2gWNQcB ) that several businesses and a class-action lawsuit representing all of the city’s residents claim that the companies recklessly exposed business owners and residents to toxic chemicals.
City spokeswoman Deanna McQueen says that all but one city district have had the city’s water ban partially lifted.
McQueen says water supplies are being tested and three water towers in the area are being flushed out.
Assistant City Manager Mark Van Vleck said an investigation is ongoing and that the city has found no water contamination.
A top Corpus Christi official says there were three reports of dirty water before the public was told this week of a chemical leak into the water system.
Assistant City Manager Mark Van Vleck said Saturday that the city first received a “dirty water report” Dec. 1 from the Valero-owned administration building at the asphalt plant leased to Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions. City workers flushed the pipe.
A second report came from the same building Dec. 7, and the main was flushed again.
Van Vleck said Valero workers told the public works department Monday that a “white, sudsy liquid” was in the administration building. Van Vleck didn’t specify where the liquid was coming from.
He said city officials determined there was a leak in the chemical tank that day, and the next day determined there was a backflow problem.
The city told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about it Wednesday, and hours later, the state notified the public.
Van Vleck said an investigation is ongoing and that the city has found no water contamination.
An email from a Texas environmental official shows a chemical leak from an asphalt plant that led Corpus Christi officials to warn residents this week not to drink the water was apparently reported a week earlier.
The internal email sent Wednesday by Susan Clewis, a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality official, contained an incident report describing the leak as a “backflow incident” that impacted the public water system. It was reported Dec. 7 at a plant run by Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions.
It doesn’t say who initially reported the leak on Dec. 7 or to whom. It says the state environmental agency was notified Wednesday. City officials notified the public that evening.
Corpus Christi Mayor Dan McQueen has said local officials also only learned of the leak Wednesday.
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