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ExxonMobil’s Arkansas oil spill trial set for June 2014

ExxonMobil Corp. may go to trial in June to face pollution charges stemming from its March 29 oil spill that left an Arkansas community swamped in highly toxic tar sands crude. U.S. District Judge James Moody’s proposed schedule calls for the trial to start during the week of June 16. ExxonMobil faces a joint lawsuit filed by federal and Arkansas authorities seeking damages for its alleged violations of the U.S. Clean Water Act, the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Control Act, and other federal and state anti-pollution statutes. Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline, a 70-year-old pipe that moves refined Canadian tar sands ... Read More

ExxonMobil fights to keep recent pipeline inspections a secret

ExxonMobil last week provided a copy of a metallurgical analysis to federal regulators detailing flaws in its Pegasus pipeline that researchers believe formed the root cause of the March 29 oil spill in Mayflower, Ark. But the oil giant is fighting to keep the information about recent inspections of the 850-mile pipeline out of the public eye, triggering concerns that the 70-year-old tube may have many more oil spills in store for those in its path. According to Fox 16 in Little Rock, “Six weeks before the spill happened ExxonMobil sent a piece of equipment through the line during a ... Read More

Scientific analysis underscores risks of ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline

ExxonMobil has released information concerning the cause of a March 29 rupture in its Pegasus oil pipeline, which flooded a Mayflower, Ark., neighborhood and surrounding woodlands with more than a million gallons of dense Canadian tar sands oil. According to the oil company, an independent metallurgical analysis of the 70-year-old pipeline determined that original manufacturing defects formed the root cause of its failure. Those defects included small hook cracks near the seam where the breach occurred. “Additional contributing factors include atypical pipe properties, such as extremely low impact toughness and elongation properties across the … seam,” ExxonMobil said in a ... Read More

Federal government, Arkansas jointly sue ExxonMobil over tar sands oil spill

The U.S. Justice Department and the State of Arkansas have filed a joint lawsuit against oil giant ExxonMobil for violations to state and federal pollution laws involving its oil spill that flooded a community with highly toxic Canadian tar sands oil. ExxonMobil’s 70-year-old Pegasus pipeline ruptured in the residential neighborhood of Mayflower on March 29, 2013, releasing about 5,000 barrels of dense, sticky diluted bitumen oil made from Canadian tar sands treated with dozens of chemical additives. The 850-mile pipeline, which moves about 95,000 barrels of tar sands oil daily from Patoka, Illinois, to Nederland, Texas, ran about two feet ... Read More

Former oil spill cleanup worker on mission against Canadian tar sands fuel

When a tar sands pipeline owned by Enbridge ruptured in July 2010, John Bolenbaugh was one of the workers sent in to clean up the spill, which released more than a million gallons of heavy, highly toxic oil and chemical additives into the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Mich. What Mr. Bolenbaugh experienced and witnessed compelled him to raise awareness of the dangers of tar sands oil and the Keystone XL Pipeline, a proposed project that would funnel billions of gallons of the tar sands or diluted bitumen “dilbit” through the middle of the U.S. According to the Arkansas Times, Mr. ... Read More

Arkansas attorney general concerned says residents still sick after ExxonMobil oil spill

Mayflower, Ark., residents, including a number of children, are continuing to experience adverse health effects after ExxonMobil’s’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured, Dustin McDaniel, the state’s Attorney General said Tuesday. ExxonMobil’s pipeline breached on March 29, spilling about 5,000 barrels of highly toxic Canadian tar sands oil into a neighborhood and surrounding land. Mr. McDaniels said that town residents continue to suffer from headaches, nausea, and other adverse symptoms after more than a month after the spill. “As we met with residents and groups that represent them … I heard time and time again about their concerns for their health, especially the ... Read More

Keystone Pipeline would cost Americans $100 billion per year in damages, new report estimates

A new analysis of the hidden costs to society presented by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline estimates the damage to human health, property, the environment, and the climate could easily top $100 billion per year. The new report by Oil Change International comes on the heels of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis prepared for the State Department detailing the serious risks posed by the proposed pipeline, which would move thousands of barrels of highly toxic diluted bitumen (dilbit) oil through the middle U.S. from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The EPA’s sharp criticism of the plan was submitted to ... Read More

Tests confirm Exxon’s Arkansas oil spill created highly toxic air pollution

High levels of 30 toxic chemicals were present in air samples taken in Mayflower, Ark., the day after a breach in ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline allowed an estimated 5,000 barrels of chemically treated tar sands oil to flood a suburban neighborhood. A month after the spill, health complaints consistent with exposure to the chemicals from the air samples persist, according to the citizen-based Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group. April Lane, a spokeswoman for the advisory group, has been collecting reports and documenting health complaints from people living in the area of the oil spill, where potent oil fumes could be smelled ... Read More

ExxonMobil pipeline spills oil again, one month and 200 miles from Arkansas spill

One month after ExxonMobil’s 70-year-old Pegasus pipeline spilled 5,000 barrels of oil in the town of Mayflower, Ark., another breach in the same pipeline created an oil spill on a residential yard in Ripley County, Missouri. The spill is reportedly small, but it calls into question the integrity of ExxonMobil’s pipeline, which stretches from Illinois to Texas and transports a 30,000-gallon daily load of diluted bitumen fuel – an extremely viscous and toxic blend of liquefied Canadian tar sands. The March 29 spill in Mayflower, Ark., flooded a residential neighborhood and contaminated the surrounding land and water. The disaster displaced ... Read More

EPA voices serious objections to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an Environmental Impact assessment of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone Pipeline XL project, sharply criticizing the State Department’s own recent environmental review of the plan. If allowed to proceed, the $7-billion pipeline would transport millions of barrels of highly toxic, viscous tar-sands fuel from Canada across the United States to the Gulf Coast. In its April 22 letter to top State Department officials, the EPA gives a number of reasons for its objection to the pipeline, detailing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, the especially toxic and difficult-to-clean nature of the diluted bitumen (dilbit) oil, questions about ... Read More