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Emulsified asphalt clogs park creekbed; no impact on wildlife, Marble Falls official says

Westside Park creekbed

A creekbed in Westside Park, 1610 Second St. in Marble Falls, after gallons of emulsified asphalt that accumulated as a result of equipment cleaning in a nearby city maintenance yard were cleared away. The Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Department removed the substance Wednesday, Oct. 20. Courtesy photo

About 300 gallons of emulsified asphalt were removed from a creekbed in Westside Park, 1610 Second St. in Marble Falls, on Wednesday, Oct. 20, said Parks and Recreation Director Lacey Dingman. The removal process was completed the same day the asphalt was found, she said. 

“City staff followed the manufacturer’s protocol for accidental release and mitigated the creekbed of the substance,” she wrote in a statement.

The department was notified of a dark substance in the creekbed during the morning hours of Oct. 20, according to Dingman. Disc golfers noticed the substance the day before and posted photos on social media, notifying DailyTrib.com. 

“Staff evaluated and determined approximately 200-300 gallons of emulsified asphalt, a non-toxic substance, was present as a result of equipment cleaning,” Dingman said in a statement.

Emulsified asphalt is water based and commonly used to pave roads. City staff determined area wildlife was not impacted. 

The creek backs up to the city’s maintenance yard at 1808 Second St. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has been notified of the incident.

“The TCEQ Austin Region was notified of the asphalt spill,” TCEQ media representatives confirmed in a statement to DailyTrib.com. “The Austin Region will follow up with the city to ensure that the spill was cleaned in accordance with 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 327 (Spill Prevention and Control) rules.”

brigid@thepicayune.com