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Homeowners sue ExxonMobil over Arkansas oil spill damage

Despite ExxonMobil’s promises to clean up thousands of barrels of dense Canadian tar sands oil that flooded an Arkansas community, residents of the contaminated town have filed a class-action lawsuit against the oil giant. The company’s Pegasus pipeline, which transports the bitumen oil from Illinois to the Texas Gulf coast, ruptured March 29 in a residential section of the Mayflower community just a few miles north of Little Rock. Since then, the area has been on lockdown as ExxonMobil workers arrive to clean up the spill, talk with residents and officials, and assess damage claims. “This Arkansas class action lawsuit ... Read More

BP calls witnesses to testify in its defense as oil spill trial enters 7th week

Individuals, businesses, and government bodies from local to federal harmed by BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill say the oil giant acted with gross negligence in the events leading to the April 2010 disaster, which killed 11 workers and allowed more than 200 million gallons of oil to escape from the deep-sea well into the Gulf of Mexico. Now it’s BP’s turn to defend itself against those allegations in court. BP began its defense Monday in New Orleans, calling a retired Louisiana State University petroleum engineering professor as its first witness to testify in a trial designed to apportion blame among ... Read More

Exxon’s oil spill cleanup making Arkansas wetlands worse, group charges

Exxon Mobil’s methods of cleaning up the oil spill unleashed on an Arkansas neighborhood by its ruptured Pegasus pipeline March 29 could be doing more harm than good, says an environmental group that opposes the shipment of Canadian tar sands through cross-country U.S. pipelines. According to Tar Sands Blockade, members of the group went to document the oil spill over the weekend and found “in order to get the tar sands out of the neighborhood where it spilled and out of sight and into one place for cleanup, Exxon power-washed the excess into a wetland area which had already been ... Read More

Die off, disease, mutation in wake of BP oil spill concern scientists

Three years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster unleashed the nation’s worst oil spill, a group of University of South Florida scientists have found evidence of a massive die-off at the base of the Gulf of Mexico’s food chain – a troubling sign that sea life in the area is far from returning to normal. David Hollander, a USF chemical oceanographer, told the Tampa Bay Times that a die-off of tiny foraminifera stretches into the mile-deep DeSoto Canyon where BP’s Macondo well blew out in April 2010. From there the die-off emanates throughout the Gulf waters, following the trails forged by ... Read More

Exxon says it will pay costs of cleaning up Arkansas oil spill

Exxon Mobil officials say that the company will assume all of the costs stemming from the cleanup of the oil spill that originated from a ruptured pipeline in Arkansas last week. The spill occurred on Friday, March 30, when a breach in Exxon Mobil’s 60-year-old Pegasus pipeline sent thousands of barrels of sticky Canadian crude oil into the Arkansas community of Mayflower. The company told ABC News that it is actively cleaning up the spill and has deployed a number of claims adjusters to the area to assist residents harmed or displaced by the spill, which prompted the evacuation of ... Read More

Three Alabamians charged with defrauding BP oil spill fund

Three Alabama residents are facing federal charges for allegedly submitting fraudulent claims to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), which was established to compensate the victims of BP’s enormous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. According to court documents, Andre Clinton Dale, 45, of Mobile; Crystal David Blackmon, 27, of Bessemer; and Christopher Jarris Addison, 31, of Birmingham filed false claims to the GCCF for lost wages totaling nearly $175,000. All three have signed plea agreements stating they will each plead guilty to one count of conspiracy, and will pay restitution for the amount they received from ... Read More

ExxonMobil pipeline breach drenches Arkansas community in oil

As of Monday afternoon, Exxon Mobil had yet to start excavating the area where a breach in its Pegasus pipeline has been releasing thousands of barrels of Canadian crude oil into the environment, meaning a fix could be days away. The major oil spill erupted Friday in the central Arkansas community of Mayflower, just a few minutes from Little Rock, swamping sections of the city in oily sludge and toxic fumes. Built in the 1940s, the frail Pegasus pipeline is capable of carrying more than 90,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Patoka, Illinois, to Nederland, Texas. At the ... Read More

BP trial: Transocean comes under fire over poor maintenance record

A maintenance director for Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig and leased it to BP for exploratory drilling, testified in court Tuesday that the rig was “not flawless” at the time it exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, but that “overall it was in really good shape.” The testimony was entered in response to assertions made by a plaintiffs’ expert that the Deepwater Horizon was riddled with maintenance issues that rendered it “not seaworthy” and that the Transocean staff running it was “incompetent.” Billy Ambrose, Transocean’s Director of Maintenance and Technical Support ... Read More

Halliburton faces court sanctions for withholding well cement samples

BP contractor Halliburton will likely face sanctions for its refusal to turn over samples of the cement it used to seal the doomed Macondo well, which erupted in a series of deadly explosions on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and setting off the largest oil spill in U.S. history. According to the Associated Press, a lawyer with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s office said the state would either wait for BP to file a motion calling for sanctions against Halliburton and support it or it would file its own motion. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who is presiding over ... Read More

BP’s safety record scrutinized on third day of oil spill trial

Litigation in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill trial focused on safety matters Wednesday, as plaintiffs’ lawyers worked to portray BP as a company concerned more about saving money and boosting profits than ensuring worker safety and protecting the environment from harm. The highly complex trial began Monday with Judge Carl Barbier, who has been immersed in the oil spill litigation for nearly three years, hearing arguments from both sides. No jury is present in the trial, given the technical nature of the case and the projected three-month timeline for the first phase alone, which is designed to apportion blame for ... Read More