Exxon Oil Spill In Arkansas Has Left Crude Lining The Streets

oil

A small central Arkansas town is reeling after what the EPA called a “major oil spill” led to thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude oil being dumped in their neighbourhood.

On Friday afternoon officials discovered that a pipe in Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline had burst in a subdivision near the Little Rock suburb of Mayflower, forcing 22 homes to be evacuated. Officials don’t know when those residents be able to return.

An NBC affiliate station reported that part of the pipeline runs through a water source (Lake Maumelle) that provides drinking water to nearly 400,000 residents in central Arkansas.

The pipeline carries more than 3.7 million gallons of crude oil per day from Illinois to Texas. The spill, along with a train accident Wednesday that spilled 15,000 gallons in Minnesota, has brought Big Oil and Canadian tar sands into the spotlight.

“Whether it’s the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, or … (the) mess in Arkansas, Americans are realising that transporting large amounts of this corrosive and polluting fuel is a bad deal for American taxpayers and for our environment,” Representative Ed Markey (D- Mass.) told Reuters.

Exxon didn’t give an estimate of the size of the spill but said it has recovered about 12,000 barrels of oil and water as of Sunday.

Crews are attempting to keep more oil from entering nearby Lake Conway and are cleaning the streets before beginning work on homes and backyards.

Here’s an example of what the accident has done to the neighbourhood:

185,000 gallon tar sands spill in Arkansas yesterday. Here’s a photo that sums up the future of the suburbs. twitter.com/reclaimuc/stat…

Here’s that same yard from a different angle:

This photo, apparently showing someone’s back yard, has been making the rounds on reddit and Twitter the last couple of days:

Here’s a video showing an entire street.

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