ExxonMobil update for oil spill – April 9th

MAYFLOWER, AR – April 9, 2013 – The Mayflower Incident Unified Command Joint Information Center provided the following update as cleanup operations continued Tuesday, April 9, following a release of crude oil near Mayflower, AR.

  • The cleanup effort continues today and includes contingency plans to deal with severe storms forecast for Wednesday. Storm preparations include securing equipment and strengthening a containment system protecting the main body of Lake Conway by installing additional boom in an adjacent cove. Arrangements have been made to shelter cleanup workers if necessary.
  • An excavation and removal plan for the affected portion of the pipeline has been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation  Work started Sunday on preparing the pipe near the break for excavation and removal.
  • The plan to return residents to their homes in the North Woods subdivision continues. The Arkansas Department of Health recommended that air quality testing be undertaken in and around the homes before residents return.
  • Air quality monitoring is being conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ExxonMobil separately, and data are being reviewed by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Data from the air monitors outside the immediate work areas in the Mayflower community continue to show levels that are either non-detect or that are below any necessary action levels. Workers in the immediate cleanup areas have air quality monitoring and breathing equipment for use, if necessary.  Air data are posted on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s website and updated as it becomes available. http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/hazwaste/mayflower_oil_spill_2013/default.htm
  • ExxonMobil is paying for the cleanup and will honor all valid claims. The company understands that residents have concerns related to short term out-of-pocket costs as well as possible longer-term impacts on home property values and is committed to honoring all valid claims. Residents can call a claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) for more information. As of April 9, 183 claims have been made. Outreach efforts to the community are ongoing and include residents around the cove.
  • Wildlife experts released a beaver and a lizard on Tuesday. Sixteen oiled ducks are being cleaned and cared for. Twenty-three ducks, a nutria, and five turtles have died. The animals are being cleaned and cared for by U.S. Environmental Services and Wildlife Response Services, who are ExxonMobil contractors. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission selected the site of the release for suitability and similarity to the area where they were captured.
  • Residents who find injured or oiled wildlife should call the claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) and not approach wildlife for their safety and the safety and welfare of the wildlife.
  • Fish in the main body of Lake Conway have not been affected. A series of containment booms has been deployed in the lake and cove to protect the main body of the lake, which testing confirms remains oil-free. Workers have removed small, isolated amounts of oil from the cove and continue to monitor the area. Two culverts connecting the cove to the lake have been blocked as an additional precaution to protect the lake.
  • Progress continues in the cleanup areas of the North Woods subdivision, an area between Main St. and the interstate highway, and a marsh area between the interstate highway and the cove adjacent to Lake Conway.
  • The Unified Command estimates about 28,000 barrels of oily water have been recovered. In addition, about 2,000 cubic yards of oiled soil and debris have been recovered. The Unified Command estimates approximately 5,000 barrels of oil were spilled. A final estimated release volume will be provided once the line has been repaired and refilled.
  • Oil is being cleaned through a combination of vacuum trucks, pressure washing, use of absorbent pads and removal of contaminated soil and vegetation. About 700 people are responding to the incident including federal, state and local personnel.
  • There has been no impact on Mayflower’s drinking water supply. Community Water System manages Mayflower’s water supply, which is sourced from Greer’s Ferry Lake, located about 65 miles northeast of Mayflower.
  • Local emergency responders from the city and county have made a tremendous contribution to the cleanup operation. The efficiency of the effort would not be possible without all the contributions of these professionals. Emergency response personnel were on the ground within 30 minutes after the leak was detected.
  • The cause of the spill is under investigation.

From ExxonMobil.com