Additional information was made available to the public following continued clean-up efforts of a crude oil spill that happened near Mayflower Friday afternoon.
The Environmental Protection Agency has categorized the incident as a major spill, indicating a release of more than 250 barrels of oil. Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson confirmed Friday that a crude oil pipeline ruptured near Mayflower.
ExxonMobil representatives confirmed the existence of “a few thousand” barrels of oil in the area, but say they are staging a response for more than 10,000 barrels “to be conservative.”
Approximately 4,500 barrels of oil and water have already been recovered from the area.
Responders on Saturday said they have taken precautions to keep oil from spreading to Lake Conway and recovery efforts are now focused on ensuring the safety of the community and workers, addressing community concerns and the clean-up process.
Emergency personnel comprised of federal, state and local representatives and some 100 ExxonMobil employees responded within 30 minutes following the detection of the ruptured pipeline.
Residents of 22 homes on Starlite Road and Shade Tree Lane were evacuated by Mayflower Police Department following the incident.
Professional hygienist authorities are conducting air quality monitoring, though officials said the air quality does “not likely” present a human health risk, except in areas of “high pooling,” where clean-up crews are working with safety equipment.
A claims hotline has been established for anyone affected by the spill. The number is 1-800-876-9291. Adjusters are also on-site taking claims.
The cause of the spill is still under investigation.
(Staff writer Megan Reynolds can be reached by phone at 505-1277 or by e-mail at email@example.com. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net.)