© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Updated: Oil Spill Flows Into San Antonio River Near Museum Reach

Eileen Pace

Update: (May 3 12:08 p.m.) The test results found that the oil is petroleum based, but SARA still doesn't know where the oil originated.

The TCEQ and SARA have agreed that they will share the cost of restoring the vegetation and grass in the affected areas.

Update: (May 3, 9:45 a.m.) Still no word on the sample results from SARA or the TCEQ.

Update: (5:02 p.m.) SARA has now said that they have taken soil samples from the area and expect to have results by tomorrow afternoon. At that point, the TCEQ will decide the next course of action.

Original Post: (4:06 p.m.) The San Antonio River Authority is working to mitigate an oil spill on the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River that was first reported Monday afternoon.

Gloria Rivera, spokesperson from the San Antonio River Authority, said the oil seemed to have been pushed through the vegetation, across the trail, and into the river by heavy rains early in the week.

"Right now it looks like the oil spill happened somewhere on Avenue B," she said.

"If you look at the pavement, you can’t tell that there was oil that went across there. What we were a little concerned about was that there would be oil on the trail - for pedestrians and people riding their bikes - but the way it rained and the way it traveled, it must have just carried it like a sheet across the pavement. So it didn’t settle into the pavement but it did settle into the vegetation," Rivera said.

Rivera said SARA is checking the vegetation for damage, and the fish, birds, and ducks seem to be unaffected but they’ll keep watching the wildlife for any signs of toxicity.

The source of the oil spill has not been determined, but the city’s HazMat teams and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have been notified.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.