Measures Being Taken to Ensure Health of Mayflower Community

Aug 29, 2013

The scene shortly after the pipeline ruptured in March, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil.
Credit KUAR

Health assessments for Mayflower residents affected by the March oil spill will be provided by the state, Gov. Mike Beebe's office announced Thursday.

Beginning next week, the Faulkner County Health Unit in Conway will offer appointment with nurses and specialists from the Arkansas Department of Health and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. These initial meetings will be used to evaluate a high number of patients who may have developed symptoms, such as lung and heart problems, as a result of the ruptured pipeline.

Stacey Hall,  a spokeswoman for Gov. Beebe, noted the check-ups are an appropriate measure after residents mentioned several concerns in the aftermath of the spill.

"We've heard from constituents and we've heard from Congressman Tim Griffin," Hall said. "It was one of those things that needed to be done."

Dr. William Mason, who serves as Chief of Preparedness at the Arkansas Department of Health,  said appointments are necessary in helping the city recover.

"What we want to do is make every effort to address the concerns of the residents who feel they have had adverse effects from this oil spill," Mason said. "We also want to help the community of Mayflower go through this process of healing because the community has been impacted by the spill."

Appointments can be made through the Faulkner County Health Unit starting Tuesday, Sept. 3.