One Year After Spill, Clinton School Panel Discusses Lessons From ExxonMobil's Pipe Break in Mayflower

by Christina Huynh, The Associated Press  on Tuesday, Apr. 1, 2014 7:26 am  

Workers watch as a section of damaged ExxonMobil oil pipeline is removed from the ground in Mayflower on April 15. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

"It could have been beneath the Arkansas River," McDaniel said. "It could have been in an area where it would have taken two days literally to use bulldozers to plow a road just through the forest just to get to it. We were lucky. Were you lucky if you lived in that neighborhood? No, of course not. But from an ecological standpoint, it could have been much more disastrous in different areas."

Graham Rich, CEO of Central Arkansas Water, said he does not foresee Exxon Mobil relocating the Pegasus pipeline from Mayflower based on what the company has said. But, Griffin said, he believes the oil giant won't restart the pipeline in Arkansas based on his conversations with federal regulators.

Central Arkansas Water supplies drinking water for nearly 400,000 Arkansans.

Tammy Hynum, chief of the Hazardous Waste Division of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, attended the discussion as well. She said that while the agency prepares for disasters like the Mayflower oil spill, there is always room for improvement in their response.

Dodson said, "We cannot forget that as bad as this instance is, there was a whole lot of competence in that response."

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