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Crew Begin Pressure Washing Oil-soaked Streets In Mayflower

Inside the Northwoods subdivision crews continued work Monday to clean up roads and driveways that were blanketed in oil when a 20 inch pipeline carrying heavy crude ruptured Friday afternoon.
MAYFLOWER, AR--Inside the Northwoods subdivision, crews continued work Monday cleaning up roads and driveways that were blanketed in oil when a 20-inch pipeline carrying heavy crude ruptured Friday afternoon.

"They've got a lot of the spill picked up there," said ExxonMobil spokesman Alan Jeffers. "It's noticeably different and better."

Contractors working for ExxonMobil, which owns the pipeline, were seen pressure washing streets as local officials ramp up efforts to remove enough oil to allow evacuated residents to begin returning home.

The Arkansas Department of Health and other local authorities say they are working on a "reentry plan," but they're not ready to say when the plan will be put in place.

"That's frustrating... I know it is," said Faulkner County Judge Alan Dodson, who's part of the Unified Command team making critical decisions. "But we are getting close."

Federal Department of Transportation investigators say it was a 2 to 3 inch gash in the 1940's era Pegasus pipeline that led to the spill.

DOT is in the process on conducting a full investigation into what caused the pipeline to break. 

Records show ExxonMobil was fined $26,000 in 2010 for failing to perform required inspections of Pegasus between 2002 and 2007 on a stretch of the pipeline that runs under the Mississippi River.

Speaking from Mayflower on Monday, Jeffers said the pipeline was tested in 2010.

"[A sensor] went through this area and there were no anomalies," Jeffers said.
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