Cleaning up after Exxon's Arkansas oil spill

Office of Attorney General Dustin McDanielMopping up after Exxon in Arkansas.

You gotta feel for ExxonMobil.

Mere months after the oil giant was mildly stung by a $1.7 million fine for its 2011 spill in Yellowstone River, federal and Arkansas prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against the company seeking compensation and cleanup costs related to this year’s tar-sands oil pipeline rupture in Mayflower, Ark.

From the L.A. Times:

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The Justice Department and the state of Arkansas filed suit against the oil giant ExxonMobil over a March 29 pipeline rupture that spilled 210,000 gallons of oil into a residential neighborhood and waterways in the small town of Mayflower.

The spill prompted evacuations, killed wildlife, polluted wetlands and a lake, and stirred health complaints from people living near the rupture site, north of Little Rock.

In the suit filed in federal district court, the Justice Department seeks civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act. The Arkansas attorney general is also pursuing civil penalties for violations of the Arkansas Hazardous Waste Management Act and the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Control Act. The state also seeks to have ExxonMobil pay for all cleanup and removal costs under the federal Oil Pollution Act. …

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The cleanup continues in Mayflower, where none of the 22 families evacuated on North Starlite Drive has returned home. The neighborhood is a “sea of ‘For sale’ signs,” said Glen Hooks, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club in Arkansas.

From Al Jazeera:

The lawsuit said the Pegasus pipeline was buried less than a meter below the ground in the Mayflower neighbourhood, which is about 40 km from Little Rock, the state capital.

Federal pipeline regulators this month gave Exxon time to conduct a second round of testing on Pegasus after the company said an initial investigation into why the nearly 70-year-old line failed was inconclusive. The pipeline runs from Illinois to Texas.

Exxon installed a new section of the pipeline in April after it removed a 15.8 meter damaged section, but it has yet to file a restart plan with federal regulators.

Yeah, you gotta feel something for Exxon. This might put a teeny-tiny dent in its profits, which reached $44.8 billion last year.