ZXP plant leaks oil into Highlands drainage gully

SWS Environmental crews are seen marshalled on ZXP property along the San Jacinto River

Environmental crews contain and clean spill

HIGHLANDS– An unusual oil spill that flowed off the property of ZXP Technologies and into local waterways brought environmental authorities and clean-up crews to the Highlands area this week.

ZXP president Ed Davis met with local residents at the Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday, to explain the circumstances of the spill, and assure the community that it was a minor incident that won’t repeat. In fact, he said “ZXP has never experienced any kind of bypass like this in its entire corporate history.”

He told the audience that only about 4 barrels, or 200 gallons of various oil products, actually drippings from vehicles in the parking lots, had mixed with thousands of gallons of rain water, and through some type of error had been directed to drain off the property, instead of being sent to the on-site treatment plant which usually cleans the runoff before discharge. ZXP has a permit from the state TCEQ and processes waste water to environmental standards. The cause of the error is now under investigation to avoid any repeat of the problem.

The oil in Slap-Out Gully, which runs behind the ZXP plant and down to the San Jacinto River and Burnet Bay, was first spotted by nearby houses and reported to the Highlands Fire Department. They responded, and then contacted Harris County Hazardous Materials Response team. Arriving on the scene, they also alerted the Harris County Public Health, Texas TCEQ and Fish and Wildlife, and federal EPA authorities, as well as the Coast Guard who have jurisdiction in the river. In his talk on Tuesday to the Rotary Club, Davis said that no environmental damage had been done by the spill, and that all of the agencies had signed off on the clean-up work. However, crews are continuing for a few more days to make sure all the area is clean.

Davis had praise for the help that he received from all the agencies involved, and especially singled out the Highlands Fire Department for their quick response and professional work on the problem.

In general remarks to the Rotary Club, not related to the oil spill, Davis reported that ZXP has had a very successful year, with employment reaching an additional 100 persons, to about 300 total. The company is now shipping their various oil products, which they blend and package, to about 70 countries worldwide. He said that the most well known product the company processes is anti-freeze, and if you purchase this in a store anywhere and any brand, you most likely have a product made by ZXP.