Friday, April 25, 2008

Truckers Find Water in Tanks, TCEQ Investigates

by Sara Talbert - April 24, 2008. See Article Here

ROSS- Broken down and stranded. Some truckers say that is what happened to them after pumping gas at a Central Texas truck stop. They say their engines won't run now and they tell News Channel 25 it's because water is in their tanks.

Those truckers say the company, Exxon, isn't helping them fix their trucks.

"Sounded like it wasn't getting any fuel; which it wasn't. It was getting whatever is in here. It's just messed up the whole truck. It won't run," said Evelyn Gooden, a trucker now stranded because her truck's engine won't start.

She and fellow trucker Danny Haynes fueled their semi's around five Wednesday afternoon and didn't even make it out of the parking lot of the Gator Truck Stop in Ross before their engines shut down.

Thursday, barrels of the fuel, $700 worth, were drained out of Gooden's tanks.

"I was running fine when I came in here; he was fine when he came in here. Kind of funny as soon as we both fuel, we die," said Gooden.

News Channel 25 spoke with Shakil Ali who runs the Exxon station.

"We checked the water, not water in there," Ali said.

Ali showed News Channel 25 of a test result from Wednesday night around 10:30 and Thursday around noon. Wednesday night, no water showed in the underground tank. Thursday, 6.78 inches or 569 gallons were there.

"Heavy rains, then it's a problem. Last night was heavy rains; that's why we have problems that the water is in the tank," said Ali.

In fact, Ali checked the tank for News Channel 25 and sure enough, water was in the tank.

"It's normal. Every people has this problem. Every gas station has problems," said Ali.

News Channel 25 spoke with the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality who said not everyone has this problem. Anna Dunbar with TCEQ said, "Water in the fuel may indicate a problem at the facility. The TCEQ will investigate."

The last time the Gator Truck Stop was inspected was in 2005, but was closed down at the time. TCEQ says there are no complaints on record about the facility.

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