A trial date has been proposed for a federal lawsuit about a central Arkansas oil spill.
An online record filed Thursday in Little Rock federal court proposes a trial that would start sometime during the week of June 16.
State and federal officials filed the lawsuit in June after a pipeline operated by ExxonMobil Pipeline Company ruptured and spilled thousands of barrels of oil at Mayflower on March 29.
State and federal authorities want a judge to find that ExxonMobil broke the law when the pipeline failed. They’re also seeking civil penalties, costs and damages.
The lawsuit, filed in June in federal district court in Little Rock, alleges six causes of action against the oil company.
Mayflower residents are also pursuing a class-action lawsuit against ExxonMobil, which wanted that lawsuit dismissed.
The Pegasus pipeline burst March 29 near Mayflower, spilling 210,000 gallons of oil, soiling a neighborhood and threatening nearby Lake Conway. The company says a manufacturing defect in the 64-year-old pipeline caused it to burst. Documents released in the month after the spill said the pipe had a 22-foot-long breach that was about 2 inches wide.
The pipeline initially carried crude oil from the Texas coast northward but its flow was reversed in recent years and carries heavier oil in the opposite direction. The oil spilled in a subdivision near Lake Conway about 25 miles north of Little Rock.
The residents’ suit said that three years ago, the capacity of oil transported increased by 30 percent, which contributed to the weakening of the pipe.
That particular lawsuit also contends that oil has made its way to tributary coves in Lake Conway. Exxon officials have stated that no oil has been in Lake Conway.
The lawsuit will allow others to join, and because it states that anyone living within 3,000 feet of the pipeline was affected, the damages sought could reach in the millions.