MAYFLOWER, AR - The Mayflower Incident Unified Command Joint Information Center provided the following update as cleanup operations continued Friday, April 19, following a release of crude oil near Mayflower, AR:
- The Unified Command is beginning to transition from emergency response to remediation and restoration activities. EPA, state and local authorities conducted an inspection and granted approval to start the new phase of operations in the North Main Street section of the impacted area.
- Cleanup continues in the Northwoods subdivision and the marsh area between the interstate highway and the cove adjacent to Lake Conway. Oil is being contained and collected by work crews using a combination of pumps, backhoes and oleophilic and hydrophobic pads, made from specially designed materials that absorb oil but not water.
- The EPA is responsible for ongoing air quality monitoring, which is being conducted on a continuous basis. Monitoring data continues to show levels that are either non-detect or below action levels established by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Data are reviewed by the ADH, which posts updates at www.adeq.state.ar.us/hazwaste/mayflower_oil_spill_2013/default.htm
- Water sampling confirms that the main body of Lake Conway and Palarm Creek remain oil-free. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and ExxonMobil are continuing to monitor water samples. Water data are posted on the ADEQ website at www.adeq.state.ar.us/hazwaste/mayflower_oil_spill_2013/default.htm
- Efforts to return residents to their homes in the Northwoods subdivision continue. While ADH has indicated there should be no impact on the health of Northwoods neighborhood residents, some residents may decide to delay their return until all work involving heavy equipment within the neighborhood is complete.
- ExxonMobil is paying for the cleanup and will honor all valid claims. ExxonMobil has developed a plan to address concerns about the long-term value of homes in the Northwoods neighborhood up to and including home purchases. The company is in the process of communicating the plan to them. Residents can call a claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) for more information.
- Local emergency responders from the city and county have made a tremendous contribution to the cleanup operation. The efficiency of the effort would not be possible without all the contributions of these professionals.
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