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Oil Spill In Bethel Acres


Countywide & Sun/Court Haygarth

Oil pump busts spilling oil at Lake Road and Gaddy Road

An emergency meeting was called Wednesday, May 8, after an oil pump from Abundance Energy busted in Bethel Acres, spilling 3200 gallons of combined oil and salt water. The spill was located at Lake Rd. and Gaddy with the Frye's residence being the home most affected by the spill. The spill took place during the monthly town hall meeting Monday, May 6.

Present at the meeting were Vice Mayor Lucas Cannon, Ward 4 Maeghan Olsen, and Ward 5 Karen Jones. Mayor Carlile was not present at the meeting but was available through speakerphone. Also present was the owner of Abundance Energy and the Attorney for Abundance Energy, Trevor Henson.

"What's done in the dark stays in the dark," voiced a concerned anonymous citizen. Tensions seemed to be high as the meeting started 30 minutes late as Bethel Acres Attorney Breeann Gordon and Oil and Gas Inspector Neal Davis were speaking with Henson prior to the meeting.

The meeting began with Neal Davis citing the reason for the spill possibly being a malfunctioning pump. Upon questioning by Davis, it was made known the pump was less than 10 months old. Attorney Henson claimed the spill was, "caught and stopped very early." Clean Sources, a third party to Abundance Energy, was working on the clean up.

"It sucks for everybody," voiced Attorney Trevor Henson. "All wells will be checked closely after that" was Henson's response to Vice Mayor Cannon's question about Abundance Energy wells being within code. The Abundance Energy owner said they had never had a well set red-flagged before.

As of Wednesday, May 8 there was no timeline for when everything would be cleaned up. For the time between then and when everything would be cleaned up, Abundance Energy moved the Frye's out and is paying to put them up in a hotel. They committed to making sure the residence's water was good before having them return to their house.

Other than the issue at hand, Karen Jones brought up communication issues the city has had with Abundance Energy. The owner did vow to fix those communication issues. Until the pump is fixed and throughout clean up, Jones requested the owner be present at future meetings.

Countywide & Sun/Court Haygarth

An action-plan from Clean Sources was being put into action the morning on May 9. Board Member Karen Jones asked for a copy of that action plan when it was put in writing. Friday, May 10 Mayor Carlile would go out to the spill site to look over the damage and the actual process to prepare everything. With this, Karen Jones motioned to table the discussion, seconded by Olsen.

Before officially closing the meeting, Cindy Cook, a near-by house to the oil spill, spoke in front of the board members that she would like if Abundance Energy could also visit the neighbors surrounding the spill and check up on them and what they need. Cook said the spill was causing her and her family's eyes to burn when they went outside and the oil gave them headaches.

The meeting adjourned at 7:35 pm, having been motioned by Vice Mayor Cannon, seconded by Maeghan Olsen.


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