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Oil spill in wildlife area alarms residents

LEXINGTON, Okla. – Herbert Rousey and his wife were taking pictures of wildlife out at the Lexington Wildlife Management Area when they stumbled across something alarming.

“I thought it was terrible to think that would go on anywhere much less on public lands,” said Rousey.

Rousey was looking at a well site that was leaking oil.

He says it appeared it had been going on for some time.

“I’ve worked in the oil field years ago and kinda knew a little bit about it and could tell there were several spills there over about a year span and they hadn’t cleaned them up at all, hadn’t even attempted to clean them up,” said Rousey.

Rousey alerted local environmental activist, Casey Holcomb.

“Well it’s pretty disgusting,” said Holcomb. “All that black stuff is just layer upon layer upon layer of dried oil that has just been leaking steadily over a number of months.”

“People use this area for hunting, fishing, recreation, camping. They come out here to enjoy some wilderness, a wilderness preserve. And it’s very hard to do that when you have a contaminated site like this,” said Holcomb.

“I think it needs to be addressed pretty quick,” said biologist, Rex Umber, who works at the Lexington Wildlife Management Area.

Xanadu Exploration Company out of Tulsa operates the well site.

An inspector with the Corporation Commission came out to inspect the site Monday afternoon.

He told Xanadu they have 30 days to replace all contaminated soil with clean soil.