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Exxon: 'no current health/environment hazards in Mayflower'

Posted: March 25, 2014 - 5:09pm

With the year’s anniversary of the Exxon Pegasus Pipeline failure and the deadline for Exxon to submit its “remedial work plan” just around the corner, two Exxon officials gave a summary of the work so far to clean up Mayflower. 

They spoke at a press conference in Mayflower on Tuesday afternoon.

Karen Tyrone, VP of Exxon’s pipeline division, said that the company is wrapping up its remedial work plan — which is basically a report outlining what measures have or can be taken to prevent another rupture and oil spill along the pipeline. Exxon’s deadline to submit this report is April 7. 

Tyrone said at the press conference that she couldn’t comment on the contents of this document or what the company would do differently if it is allowed to start pumping oil through the pipe again. 

“It is [Exxon’s] desire to prove the integrity of the pipeline,” Tyrone said in response to a question about whether Exxon intends to argue for the pipeline to be reopened, but wouldn’t give any details.

Exxon spokesman Aaron Stryk said in a phone interview after the press conference that he couldn’t speak as to the details of the remedial work plan, but did say that it involves proposed testing measures for the length of the pipeline to hopefully prove its integrity and incorporates “lessons learned” in Mayflower after the March 29, 2013 oil spill.

Tyrone also said that soil and water sampling currently shows no ecological or health hazards in Mayflower associated with the oil spill. The samples were tested by Exxon scientists and independent state labs under the control of the state’s department of health, game and fish commission and department of environmental quality. 

Nick Medina, Exxon public and governmental affairs manager, said that the company planned to keep its community outreach station in Mayflower open and would “continue to honor any valid complaint that is out there.”

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lachowsj 03/25/14 - 06:01 pm
Don't be so sure

According to Climate Progress, a blog outlet for the Center for American Progress, 25 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, "the U.S. Justice Department and State of Alaska say they are still waiting for long overdue scientific studies before collecting a final $92 million claim to implement the recovery plan for unanticipated harm to fish, wildlife and habitat." (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/15/2301451/25-years-after-exxon...)

Interested stakeholders need to continue to hold Exxon liable for documented damages as well as damages that may well occur years into the future.

conwaygerl 03/25/14 - 06:11 pm
Nothing to see here

Thus sayeth Exxon

arkansan 03/25/14 - 07:46 pm

Game and fish didn't exactly come to the same findings.

"Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deputy Director Ricky Chastain said its overarching conclusions about ongoing ecological risk are flawed."

"When we send our final comments to ExxonMobil, there will be a disclaimer on that letter that says, ‘We’re basically approving your report…but we do not necessarily agree with all your findings,’” he said. “We don’t dispute any of the data, but what we dispute is some of their conclusions to the data. They make some pretty broad, sweeping comments in there about ‘there’s no ecological risk’, ‘there’s no threat to benthic organisms’ – I mean, some pretty definitive statements…The bottom line is we would not say definitively across the board that there is absolutely no risk, no contamination, that would cause problems environmentally down the road.”


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