Frequently Asked Questions

Sunoco Pipeline apologizes to you and your neighbors for the inconvenience our crude release has caused. Please know that we are committed to working with each of you who have been impacted and to fully cleaning your neighborhood to your full satisfaction as quickly as possible.  The cleanup process began immediately on Friday morning and the area is safe and secure.

There is an investigation underway to determine the cause of the release of crude from the line.  This analysis, some of which is conducted at specialized labs, may take several weeks to complete before the cause is fully determined. This is the first in a series of communications we will provide to homeowners.

Q: Are there health concerns for my family?

A: Crude oil is a mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons. The residual crude oil present in the neighborhood exists in what is called a “weathered” state—meaning the lighter hydrocarbons rapidly evaporated once released, therefore diminishing health risks.  The remaining heavier hydrocarbons are similar to what is found in mineral oil or motor oil and are not considered to present a health risk.  If you or your family members get any of the residual oil on your skin, this does not present an immediate health risk; however, it is prudent to wash with soap and water as soon as possible.

Q: What testing have you done to prove this?

A: We have contracted an independent toxicology and environmental quality team that has been conducting air and soil testing throughout the neighborhood. Air quality testing is continual 24/7 daily and has shown no changes in air quality. We will continue this monitoring in real-time each day throughout the cleanup process. Soil tests are conducted pre- and post-cleanup.

Q: Is the crude oil that has dried on my house/property flammable?

A: No. The residual dried hydrocarbons that remain after the lighter ones have evaporated are not flammable.

Q: What if my pet was outside and digested some of the crude oil?

A: Small amounts of crude oil may cause temporary indigestion in some animals. If you have a pet that comes into contact with any residual oil, wash your pet’s fur with a pet shampoo or similar product.

Q: Will my flowers, plants and/or grass die from contact with the crude oil?

A: We have contracted an independent horticulturist to examine impacted landscaping. Any vegetation that appears to be negatively impacted will be either treated or replaced to the satisfaction of the homeowner.

Q: Will the dried crude oil damage the paint on my house?

A: The crude oil itself should not stain outdoor paint; however, if there is any area not cleaned to your satisfaction, we will work with you to either paint or compensate for the damage.

Q: What mixture is being used to wash my house and car?

A: The washing is been conducted by environmental cleanup companies with a mixture of water, Dawn liquid soap, and in some cases diluted Simple Green, an environmentally safe cleaning product.

Q: Why has my roof not been washed yet? How do you plan to wash my roof?

A: Due to the high winds during the past several days, it has not been safe for us to start washing roofs before today. Beginning today, we have started to gently wash roofs in a way that will not cause damage to the roof. We are using low pressure water in order to avoid putting any pressure on your roof, and will not be using ladders or climbing on your roof. Lawns and outdoor landscaping will not be impacted by this as tarps are being used to capture all run off water. This work will continue, weather permitting, until homeowners are satisfied.

Q: Why is the oil yellow?

A: Crude oil, similar to motor fuel, comes in a range of colors depending on the hydrocarbon mixture. This crude oil has a yellow color due to its hydrocarbon mixture.

Q: Who can I contact about cleaning my house?

A: We have a team of Sunoco representatives in the neighborhood to work directly with impacted homeowners. If you have not spoken to a representative yet, please call our toll-free number in order to get connected to the correct agent: 855-430-4491.

In our continued efforts to keep open and transparent lines of communication open with impacted residents in the SilverHawk neighborhood, below you will find answers to additional questions we have received related to the cleanup efforts currently underway.

 

Q: How long will cleaning crews be in the area?

A: We apologize to you and your neighbors for the inconvenience our crude release has caused, and we view ourselves as a neighbor who will do the right thing.  The Oklahoma Corporation Commission will continue to monitor the cleanup and repairs to ensure that we fulfill our commitment to you and the neighborhood in a timely manner and in compliance with all applicable regulations.  Cleaning crews will remain in the area and until all homeowners are satisfied.

Q: Is crude oil corrosive to my roof?

A: The residual hydrocarbons should not have any damage roof shingles, which are made of petroleum asphalt. As with all of our cleaning efforts, we will work with each homeowner to remediate your property to your full satisfaction.

Q: Can I mow and water my lawn?

A: Yes, it is safe to do yard work including mowing and watering. When mowing, please treat the lawn clippings as you usually do.

  1. What happens if damage occurs to my home during the cleaning process?
  2. We are doing our best to ensure that we safely and thoroughly clean your home. If any damage occurs to your home as a result of our cleanup efforts, we will replace or restore the damaged areas.

Q: What if my landscaping dies weeks after your cleanup is completed?

A: Any vegetation that appears to be negatively impacted will be either treated or replaced to the satisfaction of the homeowner, and our team of Sunoco representatives will remain as contacts for homeowners in case any questions or concerns arise regarding the cleanup. The independent horticulturist may examine impacted landscaping to asses any long-term impacts.

Q: Are the vegetables in my garden safe to eat?

A: We recommend looking for any indicators that the plant has been impacted, such as spots, discoloration, or wilting on leaves.  Out of an abundance of caution, if indicators are present the vegetable should be discarded.

Q: Why was I asked to sign a document to get my house cleaned?

A: To better organize our cleanup efforts, we ask homeowners to authorize us to enter their property to perform cleaning and testing to ensure that we have cleaned and removed the residual crude oil.

Q: Was there any runoff from yesterday’s rain that could be harmful to my yard?

A: We monitored the neighborhood yesterday during and after the rain and saw no signs of any oil runoff. Additionally, we have taken extra precautions throughout the cleanup by installing absorbent booms around every storm drain in the neighborhood to prevent any runoff into the storm drain system. All of the absorbent booms are still clean after the rain with no signs of oil runoff.

Q: How will this incident affect my home value?

A: We do not believe that home values will be affected. We promise to fully clean your neighborhood to your full satisfaction.

Q: What state agencies are you coordinating with on the cleanup?

A: The agencies include the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), and the City of Oklahoma Storm Water Quality and permitting group.

Q: Why is some house cleaning taking longer than others?

A: The length of time it takes to clean a house depends on the size and scope of the house coupled with the amount of cleanup required. If your property is not cleaned to your satisfaction, our teams will come back and clean again. Please contact us to let us know. 

 Q: What type of crude oil is this and why is it yellow?

A: Crude oil, similar to motor fuel, comes in a range of colors depending on the hydrocarbon mixture. This is sweet crude oil that came directly from Oklahoma wells. It was put directly into storage and has not been refined. The yellow colored appearance of the oil was due to the atomization of the oil as it was spraying into the air, similar to the difference in appearance between a bottle of soda at rest and then the appearance of a shaken bottle of soda as it foams from the bottle.

  Q: What if we want use an independent cleanup company?

A: We understand your concern, however, the companies we’ve contracted are cleaning to your satisfaction, not ours. We have vetted these companies for qualifications and professionalism, and want them to do the very best job while representing our cleanup efforts. Please contact us if you have specific concerns about the cleaning being performed on your property.

 Q: Will I have to disclose the spill and cleanup to potential home buyers in the future?

A: We do not believe this incident will affect property values.  For information on disclosure requirements, we recommend speaking with a realtor if you are considering selling your house.

 Q: When will our HOA pool be ready to use?

A: Per your HOA president, the pool will be open on schedule by Memorial Day weekend, dependent upon water testing results once it is filled. Sunoco will be providing food and beverages for the opening weekend party on _______.