The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has allayed Governor Mike Beebe’s initial concerns about the recent pipeline rupture and oil spill in Mayflower. The Governor spoke today with Cynthia Quarterman, head of the agency which runs under the Department of Transportation.
The Governor’s spokesman Matt DeCample says the agency answered a number of the Governor’s questions concerning the pipeline’s history and how the cleanup effort will continue. He says the agency will be working towards answering some fundamental questions about the pipeline. “[The Governor’s] interest of course was in both the history of the pipeline itself and the tests that had been done in recent years and what the agency will be doing in the coming days working with the folks on the ground in Mayflower,” he says.
Beebe toured the site of the Mayflower Oil Spill speaking with officials from ExxonMobil. DeCample says the Governor is making sure the right authorities are providing each other with needed resources to address the spill “I think he’s confident that those lines of communication are open in the direction they need to be and if anything comes to our attention that needs to be addressed, he can find the right people very quickly."
“Once they reach [the pipeline], it has to pass a number of tests before [it] can be restarted and it will probably be some time before that occurs both to determine what happened and to determine that it’s replaced and safe before it can be restarted again.”
DeCample predicts ExxonMobil will most likely continue to cooperate in investigations of the accident. He says regular pipeline operations will stay off until the oil company addresses the many questions public officials have.
ExxonMobil estimates up to 12-thousand barrels of oil and water have been collected since the spill last Friday. Officials still have not yet set a timetable of return for the evacuees of 22 Mayflower homes affected by the incident.