Exxon cleaning oil from Arkansas wetland

April 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM

MAYFLOWER, Ark., April 19 (UPI) -- Work is under way in Mayflower, Ark., to replace storm drains and clean a marshland polluted by a March oil spill, Exxon Mobil said.

Around 5,000 barrels of oil spilled in late March from a 22-foot rupture in the Pegasus oil pipeline. Exxon removed the broken section and installed new pipe this week.

The damaged section was sent to a third party for testing and the cause of the incident remains under investigation.

Exxon said it was using pumps and pads that absorb only oil to clean marshland soiled by the spill.

"Further work, such as replacing a portion of the storm drain system, is being done in the neighborhood to return residents to their homes as quickly as possible," Exxon said.

The company said this week it would help pay for damages and may purchase homes outright from residents affected by the spill.

Pegasus was carrying a diluted form of Canadian crude oil, considered by some to be more harmful to the environment than other types of oil, at the time of the incident.

Air and water samples show no threat to the health of the community. The company gave no indication as to when work would be completed or when the pipeline would be back in service.

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