On July 14, 2007, a 5-foot split occurred in a 28-inch transmission line belonging to Explorer Pipeline, resulting in an unauthorized discharge of Jet A fuel just east of the City of Huntsville, in Walker County, Texas. Approximately 6,568 barrels (275,860 gallons) of Jet A fuel were discharged onto land and into Turkey Creek and adjacent riparian habitat. Jet A fuel was observed at the discharge point and extended about 4.5 miles downstream within Turkey Creek.
Fish and wildlife kills, tree mortality, and impacts to terrestrial habitat including that occupied by migratory birds and potentially migrating federally-listed bird species were impacted at the site. The Trustees determined that approximately 4.25 acres of aquatic, 1.46 acres of woodland, and 2.89 acres of pasture habitat were impacted by the spill. The Trustees reached settlement with Explorer pipeline in 2008 for $209,805 in natural resource damages and assessment costs. The Final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (DARP) selected the acquisition and preservation of existing high quality habitat located along 3.28 miles of the Angelina Riverfront as the preferred restoration alternative for losses resulting from the Incident. In April 2009 the preferred restoration alternative was implemented by utilizing funds recovered under the settlement for the Incident as matching funds to purchase a 486-acre tract in Angelina County which was then incorporated as part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Alazan Bayou Wildlife Management Area. The Trustees intended that the preferred restoration alternative selected in the Final DARP and implemented in April 2009 would compensate the public for natural resources lost or injured due to the Incident. However, due to certain efficiencies and cost savings realized during the acquisition of the Angelina Riverfront property, the Trustees issued as supplemental amendment to the Final DARP in 2012 to use the remaining $30,000 from the settlement to implement a restoration project to enhance and create aquatic habitat through the expansion of the Athens nursery and the planting of native vegetation along the shoreline of Lake Raven. Restoration at Lake Raven has been completed.