MAYFLOWER, AR (Exxon)- The Mayflower Incident Unified Command Joint Information Center provided the following update as cleanup operations continued Wednesday following a release of crude oil near Mayflower, AR.
• Removal and replacement of soil and vegetation has begun in the neighborhood where 22 homes were evacuated on Starlite Road and Shade Tree Lane. Work will continue as weather permits to enable residents to return as soon as possible. A determination of when residents can return to their homes will be made by state health authorities.
• An excavation and removal plan for the affected portion of the pipeline is being developed for review by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ExxonMobil has received a corrective action order from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
• Thirteen vacuum trucks and 46 storage tanks are on site to clean up and temporarily store oil. Most of the free standing oil has been recovered. Residual oil is being cleaned up through a combination of pressure washing, use of absorbent pads and removal of contaminated soil and vegetation.
• Approximately 570 people are responding to the incident in addition to federal, state and local responders.
• Lake Conway remains oil free. A comprehensive containment system using boom has been deployed as a precaution to contain oil found in a marsh area between the interstate highway and a cove adjacent to the lake.
• There has been no impact on Mayflower's drinking water supply, which comes from the Community Water System, including Greers Ferry Lake.
• A claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) has been established for residents affected by the spill to register a claim and get more information. About 140 claims have been made to date.
• ExxonMobil is paying for the cleanup and will honor all valid claims. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate.
• U.S. Environmental Services, an ExxonMobil contractor, has a wildlife rehabilitation operation on site and is working with Animal Response Services on a treatment program. Sixteen oiled ducks, seven turtles, nine reptiles, one beaver and one muskrat have been recovered for treatment. Seven ducks have been found dead. If residents find injured or oiled wildlife, they should call the claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) so that a trained professional can assist and minimize any potential harm. Residents are being asked not to approach wildlife for their safety and the safety of the wildlife.
• Continuous air quality monitoring is being conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and by ExxonMobil, and data is being provided to the Arkansas Department of Health. Current air quality readings are below levels likely to cause health effects. Workers in the cleanup areas have air quality monitors and breathing equipment for use when
• A meeting with the North Woods residents who were evacuated under a recommendation from the Arkansas Department of Health was held last night in order to convey information relative to their specific situations.
• Local emergency responders from the city and county continue to participate in a safe and responsible cleanup operation. The efficiency of the effort would not be possible without all the contributions of these professionals.
• A community meeting was held on Saturday, March 30, less than 24 hours after the incident began, with presentations from members of the Unified Command, which includes the EPA, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas Department of Health, Faulkner County, Mayflower, and ExxonMobil Pipeline Company.
• Emergency response personnel were on the ground within 30 minutes after the leak was
• Emergency response efforts are focused on ensuring the safety of the community members and the response workers, addressing community concerns and the cleanup process.
• The EPA categorizes the incident as a major spill. This category reflects a quantity greater than 250 barrels. A few thousand barrels of oil were observed in the area; a response for 10,000 barrels has been undertaken to ensure adequate resources are in place.
• The cause of the spill is under investigation.