Cleanup Operations Progress in Mayflower, AR
MAYFLOWER, AR – – The Mayflower Incident Unified Command Joint Information Center provided the following update as cleanup operations continued Thursday following a release of crude oil near Mayflower, AR.
-Progress continues in the cleanup areas of the North Woods subdivision, an area between Main St. and the interstate highway, and an area between the interstate highway and a cove adjacent to Lake Conway. Approximately 640 people are responding to the incident in addition to federal, state and local responders. Cleanup has continued 24 hours a day since the spill was first detected.
-Much of the free-standing oil has been recovered. Oil is being cleaned up through a combination of pressure washing, use of absorbent pads and removal of contaminated soil and vegetation.
-More than half the impacted soil has been removed from the yards of the six homes impacted by the spill in the North Woods subdivision. Work will continue as weather permits to enable residents to return as quickly as possible to 22 homes evacuated on Starlite Road and Shade Tree Lane.
-Air quality monitoring is being conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ExxonMobil separately, and data are being reviewed by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Data from the air monitors outside the immediate work areas in the Mayflower community continue to show levels that are either non-detect or that are below any necessary action levels. Workers in the immediate cleanup areas have air quality monitoring and breathing equipment for use, if necessary. Air data is posted on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s website and updated as it becomes available. http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/hazwaste/mayflower_oil_spill_2013/default.htm
-There has been no impact on Mayflower’s drinking water supply, which comes from Community Water System. The system sources water from Greers Ferry Lake, located about about 65 miles northeast of Mayflower.
-Lake Conway remains oil free. A comprehensive containment system using boom has been deployed as a precaution.
-An excavation and removal plan for the affected portion of the pipeline is being developed for review by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
-ExxonMobil has received a corrective action order from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
-Fourteen vacuum trucks and 60 storage tanks are on site.
-A claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) has been established for residents affected by the spill to register a claim and get more information. About 140 claims have been made to date.
-ExxonMobil is paying for the cleanup and will honor all valid claims. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate.
-U.S. Environmental Services, an ExxonMobil contractor, has a wildlife rehabilitation operation on site and is working with Animal Response Services on a treatment program. Affected wildlife includes ducks, turtles, a beaver and a muskrat. Eleven dead ducks and one dead nutria have been recovered. Fish in Lake Conway have not been affected. If residents find injured or oiled wildlife, they should call the claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) so that a trained professional can assist and minimize any potential harm. Residents are being asked not to approach wildlife for their safety and the safety of the wildlife.
-A meeting with the Northwoods residents who were evacuated under a recommendation from the Arkansas Department of Health was held April 2 to convey information relative to their specific situations. A community meeting was held on March 30, less than 24 hours after the incident began, with presentations from members of the Unified Command, which includes the EPA, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas Department of Health, Faulkner County, Mayflower, and ExxonMobil Pipeline Company.
-Local emergency responders from the city and county have made a tremendous contribution to the cleanup operation. The efficiency of the effort would not be possible without all the contributions of these professionals.
-Emergency response personnel were on the ground within 30 minutes after the leak was detected.
-Emergency response efforts are focused on ensuring the safety of the community members and the response workers, addressing community concerns and the cleanup process.
-The EPA categorizes the incident as a major spill. This category reflects a quantity greater than 250 barrels. A few thousand barrels of oil were observed in the area; a response for 10,000 barrels has been undertaken to ensure adequate resources are in place.
-The cause of the spill is under investigation.
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