by HIMANSHU TANDON Staff Writer
The ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas burst, spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil into a residential area.
Residents of Mayflower have filed a class-action lawsuit against ExxonMobil to compensate for damages to their community. The suit called for Exxon to pay over five million dollars in damages.
The lawsuit was filed by residents on Friday, April 5 in U.S District court, Eastern District of Arkansas.
According to the lawsuit, over 19,000 barrels of oil were spilled, although ExxonMobil released a statement saying that closer to 5,000 barrels of heavy crude oil were spilled from the ruptured Pegasus pipeline.
The Pegasus pipeline runs from Illinois to Texas and can transport over 90,0000 gallons of Canadian crude oil every day.
Sophomore Ryan Divins said, “The oil company should have been more vigilant and inspected their pipeline more often. Maybe if they did this wouldn’t have happened.”
It is still not known to investigators what caused the two to three inch rupture in the underground pipeline, which began spewing oil on March 29.
The spill has affected nearly two dozen homes in the area, prompting mandatory evacuations. Along with the homes, there have been a number of lakes and waterways covered in oil, hurting both the plant life and the animals that inhabit the area.
ExxonMobil has promised to cover the cleanup costs that arose from the spill, but the company currently does not have a timeline for when the cleanup should be finished.
Two hundred miles north of Mayflower, Arkansas, the Pegasus pipeline leaked more oil into an unsuspecting neighborhood. The pipeline leaked over a gallon of crude oil into the yard of a Ripley County, Missouri home on Tuesday, April 30. The cleanup of the gallon spilled is nearing completion.
Freshman Shreen Bhansali said, “I think that Exxon should pay for the cleanup entirely because it could have been prevented had they been more careful.”
What do you think can be done to prevent future oil spills, both on land and in the ocean?