Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced this morning that the state is opening a full investigation into the Pegasus pipeline spill which has spilled thousands of gallons of Canadian bitumen in Mayflower last Friday.
The Arkansas AG and his staff have requested that Exxon- Mobil which owns the Pegasus pipeline to archive and preserve all documentation relating to the spill, pipeline maintenance, and the ensuing clean-up which is ongoing as we go to press.
To date clean-up crews have reclaimed about 12,000 barrels or 504,000 gallons(U.S.) of the polluted oil and water since the Pegasus rupture.
In a letter dated today AG McDaniel put Exxon-Mobil on notice that they would be liable for the consequences of the spill in Mayflower which is 20 miles north of the state capitol in Little Rock under the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Act as well as other statutes.
"There are many questions and concerns remaining as to the long term impacts, environmental and otherwise as to the aspects of this spill." he wrote in his letter to the oil company.
In a press conference held later in the day at his office in Little Rock McDaniel told reporters,
"It's obvious that the rupture was not the fault of the state and the state has been damaged in addition to the private property owners.
We don't want to overreact but obviously a prudent response would require investigating and determining what remedies are available and appropriate for the state."Exxon- Mobil has promised full co-operation with the A.G.'s office and are currently organizing a dig, investigation and replacement of the damaged section of the Pegasus pipeline which caused the rupture.