Arkansas AG opening investigation into ExxonMobil oil spill

02 April 2013 18:27  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked ExxonMobil on Tuesday to preserve and maintain all documents and information related to last week’s oil spill in the state as his office begins its probe into the incident.

McDaniel made the request in a letter to ExxonMobil in regard to the 29 March rupture of the Pegasus pipeline.

Thousands of barrels of oil were spilled into a residential neighbourhood near Mayflower and Lake Conway, leaving “significant damage to the state’s environment” and to property, McDaniel’s office said in a press release.

"This incident has damaged private property and Arkansas's natural resources. Homeowners have been forced from their homes as a result of this spill," McDaniel said. "Requesting that Exxon secure these documents and data is the first step in determining what happened and preserving evidence for any future litigation."

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is developing an excavation and removal plan for the part of the pipeline that ruptured, the US oil giant said on Monday.

Response crews are continuing cleanup operations for the affected area, where 12,000 bbl of oil and water had been recovered as of Monday, ExxonMobil said.

Lake Conway was not impacted, and a containment system using boom has been laid out as a precautionary measure to ensure oil does not get into the lake,” ExxonMobil said.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has categorised the incident as a major spill, and a number of federal, state and local agencies are assisting ExxonMobil with response efforts.

The cause of the spill is under investigation, the company said.

Additional reporting by Tracy Dang

By: Jeremy Pafford
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