Last Thursday locals called dispatch to report oil leaking into a creek in the Red River watershed. Media reports state that thieves had stolen piping from an abandoned oil tank and up to 1,000 gallons of oil had leaked into the stream which feeds the South Fork of the Red River that ultimately empties into the Red River upstream from where my family gets its tap water.Am I concerned? Oh yeah. Am I going to do something about this? Oh yeah. What am I going to do about it?
I don’t know. I have an ultra-top-secret scheme brewing. It’s long term. And who knows what will become of my master plans. But it’s a plan. I went into planning to save the world and just maybe with my new plot for world domination I can actually affect that to some degree. But it’s going to take years.
The reality is that this region has hundreds—nay, more likely thousands—of abandoned and decaying oil production accoutrements being overtaken by the local temperate rainforest climate. While the speculation is that a thief caused this leak, I’ve seen with my own eyes evidence that there are many of these tanks an pipes leaking directly into the ground and groundwater all over the region.
Much like any other extractive industry, the oil industry in the Red and Kentucky River watersheds takes what it wants and leaves the junk behind for the local communities to deal with.As a member of the local community I’m really not happy about that.