US, Arkansas file action against ExxonMobil for Pegasus oil spill

13 June 2013 19:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US and the state of Arkansas filed a joint enforcement action in federal court on Thursday against ExxonMobil for the Pegasus pipeline that ruptured on 29 March and resulted in an oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. 

On behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US is seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief under the US Clean Water Act.

In addition, the state is seeking civil penalties for violations of the Arkansas Hazardous Waste Management Act and the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Control Act. The state also is seeking declaratory judgement under the US Oil Pollution Act to hold ExxonMobil liable for payment of removal costs and damages related to the spill.

The Mayflower incident spilled about 5,000 bbl of oil and forced the evacuation of 22 homes in the neighbourhood.

“The oil has contaminated land and waterways and impacted human health and welfare, wildlife and habitat,” the US and state of Arkansas said in a news release. “Cleanup efforts are still ongoing, and many residents still have not been able to return home.”

Two residents have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the energy giant, seeking more than $5m (€3.75m) in damages. Separately, a group of at least 85 residents are suing in county court for compensatory damages related to the incident.

The pipeline also leaked 1 bbl of oil in a separate incident in Missouri about a month after the Mayflower incident.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Tracy Dang
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