By, Dennis Humenn
On Friday oil began to flow through Mayflower Arkansas, spilling into a subdivision due to a two to three inch gash in the Pegasus pipeline. The pipeline is owned by Exxon Mobil and carries oil originating as crude from Canada, from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas. The crude oil is now flooding an Arkansas neighborhood, keeping homeowners away for several more days as the river of oil oil is cleaned up from their residence. The oil made its way through resident’s years and down the streets of the neighborhood. The oil was heading for Golf Coast refineries, being piped down from Canada.
Reporters were given a tour of the effected area on Sunday to see the problems and progress of the Environmental Protection Agency. Agency spokesman Nicolas Brescia states on Sunday, “Hopefully in the near immediate future we can get residents back into certain areas of the neighborhood.” The EPA was created on December 2nd, 1970 under Richard Nixon for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment.
While the EPA is working hard to clean up and maintain the oil from destroying more than it already has, residents of the neighborhood that have had to evacuate aren’t so happy about their situation or the time it will take to get them back in their homes. “I’ve heard three contradictory answers as to when I will be able to go back home,” stated Darren Hale a resident of the area of the oil spill. All residents are frustrated due to the unreliable information they have been given on regarding how long they will be out of their homes; anywhere from two days to two weeks is the estimated time but as of right now it’s looking at the latter.
Many residents of Mayflower Arkansas were not even aware of the pipeline under their homes, unknowing to the possibility of an oil spill at anytime. People are worried about heir health, their family’s health and they health of every person and living thing in the area. Resident Joe Bradley is concerned for his daughters health and all the kids in the neighborhood, “Is she supposed to ride her bicycle out here playing with kids out here?”, people are still unknowing of what the possible lasting effects of the oil spill will be.
The EPA stated that they are now working on power washing the oil away. This sounds good but it a little too late due to the fact over 12,000 barrels of oil have already made their way to Lake Conway. Lake Conway is a local drinking water source which will make integrating people back into the area a tougher job than it already is. Not to mention the amount if wildlife that is effected or even killed by the amount of oil in the lake.
Up to a possible 90,000 barrels of oil is pumped through the pipeline each day. EXXON states that leaks are not uncommon due to the pipe being 60 years old but saw no red flags in their last inspection of the pipe.