U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Remediates Oil Spill at Sam Rayburn Power Plant

Published May 2, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other agencies, is completing clean-up of a non-hazardous release of insulating transformer oil that discharged April 28 in the river channel downstream of the Sam Rayburn Power Plant. 

Upon discovery of the discharge of oil, USACE isolated all valves that may have contributed to the discharge and deployed containment booms and absorbent mats. It is believed that the prompt placement of the containment booms enabled USACE to contain 100 percent of the oil. No oil was introduced into Sam Rayburn Lake.  The National Response Center was notified as well as other regulatory and resource partners. 

“Although the spill at Sam Rayburn Power Plant is not considered hazardous, we consider any spill incident and its cleanup a priority and will work diligently to complete the clean up,” said Col. Charles Klinge, commander, Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

It is estimated that 100 gallons or less of oil was discharged into the channel.  The maximum amount of oil that could have leaked is 200 gallons. No aquatic or other environmental impacts have been observed. There has been no impact to drinking water or recreation activities. 

Visual inspection indicates that Transformer Unit # 2 at the plant failed and will require replacement. The transformer failure makes the #2 Hydro-Electric Generator unavailable for service, thus reducing the amount of available power generation of the plant to a maximum of 30 Megawatts.  Area power companies and partners who service the Sam Rayburn area were informed that power from the impacted Unit # 2 will not be available until replacement is complete and from Unit # 1 until cleanup operations are completed. 

USACE will continue to monitor the area and clean-up any oil observed.


About the Fort Worth District: The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1950. The District is responsible for water resources development in two-thirds of Texas, and design and construction at military installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico.  Visit the Fort Worth District website at: www.swf.usace.army.mil and SWF Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-Worth-District-US-Army-Corps-of-Engineers/188083711219308
Rhonda Paige
Clay Church

Release no. 14-025