The Unified Command will be initiating a reentry plan for the evacuated residents in the Northwoods subdivision to safely return to their homes over the next few weeks, according to a media release distributed by the group.
“One month following the spill, we have made significant progress with our recovery efforts in the Northwoods neighborhood and are hopeful we can begin to get residents back into their homes very soon,” said Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson. “We regret that they have been displaced for so long, but we are doing our best to ensure the job is done right and done safely – something that we cannot sacrifice for the sake of expediency.”
Crews are replacing storm drains and curbs on North Starlite Road. The street is also being repaired, according to the Unified Command.
Once this is done, replacement of trees and landscaping can begin, the release states.
The reentry plan includes step-by-step activities that evacuated residents should complete inside their homes to prepare for air monitoring and sampling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ExxonMobil will conduct, according to the release distributed by the Mayflower Incident Unified Command Joint Information Center.
Final recommendations for reentry will be based on analysis of the results and coordinated by the Arkansas Department of Health.
“Specific sections of the recovery sites will soon transition to remediation and restoration after thorough inspections by EPA, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and Faulkner County Judge Dodson,” the release states.
According to the Unified Command, analysis of water samples shows no evidence oil has reached the main body of Lake Conway.
Independent parties and local experts have refuted the claim.