State Of Emergency Issued In Pawhuska Due To Gas Purge Leak


Monday, August 21st 2017, 12:43 pm
By: Justin Shrair


A state of emergency is in effect tonight in Pawhuska.

It comes as state agencies and the Environmental Protection Agency work to figure out what's led to a gas leak from a well located on the Pawhuska High School softball field.

This problem has kept students from attending their first day of school which was supposed to be last Thursday.

More than 100 people packed into the community center here in Pawhuska for a town hall meeting to discuss the progress of this gas purge. 

Here's what we know so far:

This is a multi-jurisdictional issue. 

Officials from the EPA, the state Fire Marshall, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and others are working to find a solution. 

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board says there are 28 geo-thermal wells on site. 

Two of those wells are seeping natural gas. 

Instead of plugging those two wells, there will be some type of ventilation system that will be put into place over the next 48 hours and school officials are hopeful school could start soon but no exact date has been set. 

Some parents said it's a step in the right direction.

"I felt the meeting was very informative. I feel like we've got all of the right departments in involved," said Christy Moody, parent. "I think the more people you have involved, you can cover all your bases."

The EPA says air samples taken inside and outside the school are safe.

In a separate process there are two other different wells, one on site and one off site.

The process to plug those two is beginning as well.