Health Department Says Decontamination Efforts In Mayflower Could Take Weeks

Apr 2, 2013

The Arkansas Health Department says it could be weeks before Mayflower residents can return to their homes because of Friday’s oil spill.

An ExxonMobil pipeline spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil and the company is currently working to clean it up.

Ed Barham, a spokesman for the health department, says the crew has to safely remove and transport the contaminated soil away from the neighborhood.

"That's a physical job that involves literally scooping out tons of material to get it disposed of properly, then replacing it with clean dirt and doing landscaping that is up to the homeowners specifications. That is going to take a long time and it isn't something that will be possible within the next couple of weeks" said Barham.

The Health Department is analyzing Environmental Protection Agency data in order to determine when residents can safely move back in.