Shell — gas spill washed into storm drain
January 30, 2017
O’Lucky Truck Stop
11960 Hwy 59 North
Livingston, TX 77385
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I am writing concerning an incident that occurred at your location on 1/20/17 at approximately 9:30 am. I pulled up to pump #7 in order to fill up and allow my dog a rest break. We got out of the truck and walked to the grass area on the motel side of the pump. While on the grass, the Indian gentleman was carrying something while walking towards the pump and called out to me. I couldn’t hear what he was saying and asked him to repeat it. He asked me to move my truck because he was dealing with a gas spill. I immediately complied and both my dog and myself returned to the vehicle and pulled away.
Almost immediately, my dog became highly agitated, jumping around in the truck. I thought it was because she didn’t have the opportunity to actually use the break, so I told my fiancé who had pulled up next to me, I would return to the grass. As soon as Bella, jumped out, she began to repeatedly drag herself on the grass in circles. My fiancé was pulling towards a pump when I called him to come help me with the dog, because she was clearly in distress. We used the first hose we saw at the motel to irrigate her paws, to no avail.
Tom asked the gentleman who was tending the spill for help. He was less than helpful, acting as though he did not understand what was being asked of him; finally, reluctantly allowing us to use the front faucet, before disappearing inside. While Tom held Bella out front, I went in to ask for soap because the water was not enough. The same gentleman wandered around the store awhile before grudgingly handing over the dish soap from the grill.
We had to irrigate Bella’s paws three or four times with water and three times with the dish soap before she stopped being agitated and her paws no longer reeked of gasoline, praying we had gotten it off fast enough to not be absorbed systemically. Once we had that taken care of, I asked the Hispanic female employee for a towel since the dog’s paws and legs were good and wet at this point. She too, wandered around the store and told me, “We don’t have any towels”. Looking at the sign for Trucker Showers, I asked what towels the truckers used, she told me I would have to buy one. At this point, Manvi interceded and flat out refused assistance because, “You didn’t even buy anything!”. Not only did I have to point to our truck at pump #2, I had to tell her EXACTLY how much we had spent even though she could clearly see the pump reading.
Considering there was a large, unmarked gas spill that put my dog in danger coupled with the staff’s complete indifference, I did not feel I should have to pay for a towel and told them so. At this point, all three of them began loudly berating me. I did not yell at them, but I did stand my ground. I was eventually offered a dirty shop rag. NO. THANKS.
I would also like to point out that the spill was not marked until AFTER I moved my truck. And as you can see by the enclosed photos, not only was there a large enough spill to have a sheen, the Indian gentleman WASHED THE GAS SPILL INTO THE STORM SEWER! No doubt Benzine is a welcome addition to the water supply.
Bottom line, we asked for water, soap and a towel to in order to provide immediate first aid to our dog who was suffering greatly, with chemical burns to all four paws. The staff on duty had an opportunity to be customer service hero’s, but instead, chose to take the low road in hopes we would just go away. To say they were less than helpful would be an understatement; grudging, resentful and hostile would be good adjectives. Incredibly, seriously unprofessional.
I am sending a copy of this letter and all photos to your Shell parent company, as well as to any and all local and state agencies that would have an interest in a gas spill that was not handled in compliance with local, state and federal laws. In addition, I will post this experience to any and all social media available to me. You had an opportunity to handle this matter in such a manner that I would be singing your praises to everyone I know. Now, I will share EXACTLY how you responded.
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