Fuel from south-side refinery spills into S.A. River

Crews work to contain, clean up jet fuel spill


Fuel from a south-side refinery spilled into the San Antonio River Saturday morning as the fire department and a hazardous materials crew rushed to the scene to try to contain the spill.

The fuel spilled into the river just south of S.E. Military Drive and S. Presa Street.

Fire crews said the Calumet refinery plant was transferring jet fuel to a rail truck Friday night when it spilled.

Firefighters didn't receive word about that spill until Saturday morning, because the refinery initially believed they had contained the spill.

Fire Department and San Antonio River Authority personnel on the scene said about 1,100 gallons spilled out.

"Under 100 gallons or so is what we're hearing actually got out of the property and some if it did unfortunately get into the San Antonio River," said Christian Bove, SAFD spokesman.

Firefighters said hazmat crews placed a containment boom in the water to keep that fuel from heading downstream.

They said the state's environmental quality agency is on the scene and monitoring the spill.

"There's concerns about flammability," said Bove.

SARA said the Calumet refinery has had problems in the past. Their most recent incident occurred March 4, when they experienced a similar spill.

"A few years ago there was a couple of fires, now there's been two spills within a five-week period. So there are concerns about how well Calumet is performing as their safety is concerned," said Steven Schauer, spokesman for SARA.

The River Authority said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will now determine whether Calumet will be fined for the latest spill.