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Benchmark Oil Spill - UCGPE24617

Site Contact:
Anish Patel


Site Location:
Orangefield, TX 77630
NRC#: 1400360

On May 29, 2024, at 1:30 PM, the EPA was notified by the National Response Center (NRC) of a discharge of 20-40 barrels of Crude Oil from the Benchmark Oil and Gas Oil Storage Facility, Orangefield, Orange County, TX. According to the NRC report, the spill resulted from a lightning strike damaging the oil storage facility,  causing oil to release into secondary containment, then subsequently into Cow Bayou (Waters of the United States). The spill location is in the EPA Area of Responsibility; therefore, EPA is the lead agency. 

The Responsible Party initially conducted response action to clean up the spill. The EPA issued a Notice of Federal Interest on May 30, 2024, and was monitoring the spill through close coordination with the Texas General Land Office. On June 10, 2024, the Responsible Party informed their cleanup contractor that they did not have the funds and resources to continue cleaning up the spill. On June 11, 2024, the EPA issued a Notice of Federal Assumption to the Responsible Party stating the agency will assume the necessary response actions on Cow Bayou to clean up the spill in accordance with the National Contingency Plan.

EPA, its cleanup contractors (ERRS) and technical assistance contractors (START) have mobilized to the Site to continue the cleanup operations on Cow Bayou. The Railroad Commission of Texas continues the land-based cleanup per their state regulatory authority.




For additional information, visit the Notices section.