MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KTHV) - Vacuum trucks and boom pads have been sucking up as much oil as possible on land and in streams and waterways in Mayflower for weeks, but after that oil is picked up, where will it go?
"Our plan is to recycle it," said Karen Tyrone, vice president of ExxonMobil Pipeline Operations. "It goes into something that we call frac tanks. It's these large tanks. Each tank holds a few hundred barrels. It's contained."
From there, the oil will be transported to an ADEQ approved recycling and reprocessing site.
"The person picking up and handling it is wearing protective equipment. It is bagged into a clear bag," Tyrone said of the contamination not found in the soil. "They are goose necked and tied and then put into a large container, so one container would have a lot of bagged debris, and that container goes to a site until we get approval from the state to move it to a handling facility."
"We have recovered the majority of the free oil from the environment, so we still have to work areas in the marsh where we have free oil. We have to work some streams and ditches, but frankly the majority of that free oil is contained," said Tyrone.
While this is good news, the work is far from finished. Vaccum trucks will continue to suck oil from the ground and waterways in Mayflower.
Crews are continuing to work to remove that piece of ruptured pipe. Cleanup efforts and families getting to move back into their homes have been put on hold in Mayflower as severe weather moves through.
Attorney general Dustin McDaniel said the actual rupture of the spill was much larger than first anticipated. The tear in the pipe was 2 inches wide and 22 feet long.
Exxon said the removal of the pipe could happen as soon as the weather clears up. It will be transported to a lab approved by the Department of Transportation, analyzed, and the cause of the rupture will be released at a later date.
Wednesday, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel held a press conference on his imposed deadline for Oil Spill Documents.
"Today we received 12,587 pages of documents. That includes 5 CDs of data and more than 200 blue print-sized diagrams. We received these documents 45 minutes ago. Lawyers and investigators from our office are reviewing them as we speak," said McDaniel.
The Attorney General's office also requested that Exxon pay $4 million for their investigation.