Officials Considering Additional Cleanup Proposals After Oil Spill

Jan 23, 2014

File photo from April 7, 2013 of a drainage ditch that allowed oil to flow from the site of the pipeline break to a cove near Lake Conway.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and other agencies are studying a plan by ExxonMobil to clean up remaining contamination from last year’s rupture of an oil pipeline in Mayflower.

The company  is proposing the removal of soil and sediment about a foot deep from a cove near Lake Conway and drainage ditches leading to it.  The report was submitted a week ago with the goal of reducing the oil sheen in Dawson Cove.

Tammie Hynum, chief of ADEQ's Hazardous Waste Division, says she will touch base with other agencies on Friday to get their initial assessments.

ExxonMobil hired Colorado-based Arcadis U.S. to conduct testing and then submit the plan, along with four alternatives.

"They've investigated that area, they've collected everything from soil samples to sediment samples and surface water samples," said Hynum.  "The technical staff is currently doing a review internally within ADEQ, as well as some of the other state agencies, including the Health Department, Arkansas Game and Fish, and that is currently under review."

Hynum said they don't know yet when they will decide whether to allow the plan to go forward.

"It's hard to put a timeline on something like this because obviously we want to do a very through, detailed review."

The Pegasus Pipeline ruptured in March, spilling more than 200,000 gallons of raw crude in Mayflower.