Oklahoma residents upset by potential damage chemical spill could cause near Calumet

Local

CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A chemical spill took place Sunday morning after a leak caused what one resident said was a solvent to flow over the retaining wall and out near the street.

The leak came from three Devon Energy-owned tanks just south of Calumet off Highway 66.

Three Devon Energy-owned tanks

A resident that lives nearby said there are barriers and things in place to keep that from happening but claims it didn’t. He said he’s now concerned about what might come of the spill.

“The fluid was running all the way down about, oh, 300 feet down into [Highway] 66 and was flowing good,” said Scott Beard, a resident who lives nearby.

It wasn’t water that was leaking from the tanks.

Beard, a longtime dairy farmer and resident of the area, said when he got on scene after feeding cattle, he found out it was some type of solvent.

“I mean, it wasn’t just like a trickle, it was coming out,” Beard said.

Beard said he’s just glad none of it has found its way into his or his family’s wheat fields or the creeks his cattle drink from.

“You know, this is this is how we feed our families out here and we have enough trouble with the rain and prices to not worry about something like this contaminating our ground,” he said.

According to Beard, it went over the retaining wall and out near the road.

Chemical spill outside of three Devon Energy-owned tanks

Now, he said he’s worried about any chemicals seeping into the ground and potentially being washed downstream by rain and ending up somewhere it shouldn’t.

“It’s going to kill the grass, and if it kills the grass, it’s going to kill animals and other thing,” Beard said.

Beard said he isn’t against oil and gas companies being around he and his family’s land either.

“I love the fact that we do have oil production in the state because a lot of our revenue for the state comes from these wells,” Beard said. “That’s awesome.”

Drone shot of Chemical Spill near Calumet
Property near Calumet with farmland and Devon Energy worksite
courtesy of KFOR photojournalist Kyle Vincent

The aftermath though, a slightly muddy ground and a chemical stench.

Beard said he was told by crews on scene Sunday that a valve bust caused the leak. Now, he said he’s afraid of what might come if this happens again.

“This is my life,” he said. “Like we said, this is how we feed our families.”

KFOR called Devon Energy for a comment on the situation. We were sent the voicemail.

The voicemail left a cellphone number and KFOR called that as well. We were sent to voicemail again.

The person eventually responded from the cell phone number and told us they haven’t worked at Devon in 18 months and have moved out of Oklahoma.

By the time they responded, the company had closed for the day.

Meanwhile, Beard said he is taking samples of the ground to ensure it all gets cleaned up properly.

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