Exxon: Arkansas oil cleanup coming along

MAYFLOWER, Ark., May 31 (UPI) -- There's been major progress in cleaning up a marsh area soiled by a March 29 oil spill from the Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas, officials said.

About 5,000 barrels of a diluted form of heavy Canadian crude oil spilled from a 22-foot rupture in the Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Ark. Operator Exxon Mobile said it had removed nearly all of the free-standing oil and had shifted efforts to long-term remediation.


Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson, reviewing the efforts with state and federal environmental officials, said the cleanup effort had progressed well.

"We have made a lot of progress toward returning the marsh and cove to their original state in just two months," he said in a statement. "A lot of hard work and attention at all levels contributed to the results to date."

Exxon hasn't indicated what led to the accident. About a barrel of oil spilled from the same pipeline in Missouri a few weeks after the Mayflower breach.

"Progress continues, but we know our work is not complete," Exxon incident commander Mark Weesner said in a statement. "We will be here until the job is done."


Exxon said it has planted seeds in the marsh area soiled by the spill. Air and water quality samples indicate pollution levels within safe health limits.

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