The ExxonMobil pipeline that ruptured in Mayflower, Ark., has now been removed and sent to an independent lab for third-party testing while cleanup of the 5,000-barrel spill continues.
The 52-ft section of the Pegasus pipeline was lifted out April 15 but the cause of the spill remains under investigation, according to ExxonMobil. It is not known when the pipe testing will be completed.
The pipeline had a 22-ft.-long, 2-in.-wide gash, according to Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. His office has launched an investigation of the spill.
The 20-in.-dia pipeline, which carries Canadian Wabasca heavy crude, was built in the late 1940s, initially to transport refined oil from Texas to Illinois. Reacting to market conditions, the company reversed direction of flow and changed the product in 2006.
The March 29 spill routed 22 families from their homes and 26 buildings continue to undergo air quality monitoring. Though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Arkansas Dept. of Health have cleared them for use, reports of “an odor” continue.
Cleanup in the spill area includes both the houses in the Northwoods subdivision and a marsh area nearby, where crews are using pulps, backhoes and pads to absorb the oil. Crews are also replacing a portion of the storm drain system.