In a letter to ExxonMobil sent Sept. 19, Central Arkansas Water attorneys said CAW intends to file a lawsuit in 60 days against ExxonMobil for violations of the Pipeline Safety Act unless the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is “diligently pursuing an administrative proceeding for the violations” included in the letter.
The letter lists violations of the Pipeline Safety Act including failure to maintain and implement an adequate integrity management program for the part of the pipeline within the Lake Maumelle watershed, failure to select a pipeline assessment method capable of assessing seam integrity and determining the existence of hook cracks that led to the rupture, failure to change its integrity management program in response to the results of the 2006 hydrotest, failure to take adequate measures to mitigate the consequences of a pipeline failure that could impact the Lake Maumelle watershed, failure to prepare and modify its oil response plans for the watershed when ExxonMobil started transporting diluted bitumen in 2006 and failure to install adequate leak detection technology along the pipeline capable of detecting releases in the watershed.
In a separate letter to several elected leaders, CAW said the immediate goal is “to prevent the restart of the pipeline until CAW has had the opportunity to review all relevant data and identify additional safety and integrity measures needed in the Maumelle Watershed.”
CAW also notes, despite the notice to ExxonMobil about possible legal action, they remain committed to working with the oil company to get the information they have requested since April to “identify and implement safety and integrity improvements.”
(Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1212.)