On June 13, the United States and the state of Arkansas filed a joint enforcement action against ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. and Mobil Pipe Line Co. in federal district court in Little Rock, Ark. The complaint addresses ExxonMobil’s unlawful discharge of heavy crude oil from the Pegasus Pipeline, a 20-in. diameter interstate pipeline that ruptured in Mayflower, Ark., on March 29.
As alleged in the complaint, a segment of the Pegasus Pipeline ruptured in a residential neighborhood in the town of Mayflower. The pipe was buried approximately two feet below the ground at that location. The oil spilled directly into the neighborhood and then into nearby waterways, including a creek, wetlands and Lake Conway. Residents were forced to evacuate their homes due to the hazardous conditions in the neighborhood resulting from the spill. The oil has contaminated land and waterways and impacted human health and welfare, wildlife and habitat. Cleanup efforts are still ongoing, and many residents still have not been able to return home.
The Pegasus Pipeline runs approximately 850 miles from Patoka, Ill., to Nederland, Texas. The pipeline is used to transport Canadian heavy crude oil. The pipeline originally was constructed in the 1940s.