MAYFLOWER, AR -- The Mayflower Incident Unified Command Joint Information Center provided the following update as cleanup operations continued Wednesday, April 10, following a release of crude oil near Mayflower.
- Cleanup efforts are focused on the marsh area between the interstate highway and the cove adjacent to Lake Conway. Most of the free-standing oil has been recovered.
- The cleanup effort includes contingency plans to deal with severe storms forecast for the remainder of the day. Storm preparations include securing equipment and strengthening a containment system protecting the main body of Lake Conway by installing additional boom in an adjacent cove. Arrangements have been made to shelter cleanup workers if necessary.
- An excavation and removal plan for the affected portion of the pipeline has been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Once removed, the impacted section of the pipeline will be sent to an independent lab for inspection.
- Efforts to return residents to their homes in the North Woods subdivision continue.
- Air quality monitoring is being conducted continuously by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ExxonMobil separately. The Arkansas Department of Health has established air quality levels for permanent re-entry in the evacuated areas. Data from the air monitors in the Mayflower community continue to show levels that are either non-detect or below action levels established by the Arkansas Department of Health. Air data are posted on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's website and updated as it becomes available. http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/hazwaste/mayflower_oil_spill_2013/default.htm
- ExxonMobil is paying for the cleanup and will honor all valid claims. The company understands that residents have concerns related to short-term out-of-pocket costs as well as possible longer-term impacts on home property values and is committed to honoring all valid claims. Residents can call a claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) for more information. As of April 9, 197 claims have been made. Outreach efforts to the community are ongoing and include residents around the cove.
- U.S. Environmental Services and Wildlife Response Services, ExxonMobil contractors, are caring for recovered animals. Appreciation is extended to the Hawk Center, which initially cared for wildlife during the emergency response. Approximately 140 live animals have been captured to date. Thirteen animals of various species have been released and approximately 27 are still being cleaned. The majority of the impacted wildlife have been reptiles, primarily venomous snakes. U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are actively involved in the response effort to ensure wildlife is properly captured and treated.
- Residents who find injured or oiled wildlife should call the claims hotline (1-800-876-9291) and not approach wildlife for their safety and the safety and welfare of the wildlife.
- Fish in the main body of Lake Conway have not been affected. A series of containment booms has been deployed in the lake and cove to protect the main body of the lake, which testing confirms remains oil-free. Water samples are being taken in the cove to ensure oil has not migrated. Two culverts connecting the cove to the lake have been blocked as an additional precaution to protect the lake.
- The Unified Command estimates about 28,200 barrels of oily water have been recovered. In addition, about 2,000 cubic yards of oiled soil and debris have been recovered. The Unified Command estimates approximately 5,000 barrels of oil were spilled. A final estimated release volume will be provided once the line has been repaired and refilled.
- The cleanup effort includes a combination of vacuum trucks, pressure washing, use of absorbent pads and removal of contaminated soil and vegetation. About 700 people are responding to the incident including federal, state and local personnel.
- There has been no impact on Mayflower's drinking water supply. Community Water System manages Mayflower's water supply, which is sourced from Greer's Ferry Lake, located about 65 miles northeast of Mayflower.
- 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. Emergency response personnel were on the ground within 30 minutes after the leak was detected.
- The cause of the spill is under investigation.
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