ExxonMobil execs brief city, county on Mayflower oil spill one y - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

ExxonMobil execs brief city, county on Mayflower oil spill one year later

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MAYFLOWER (KATV) - ExxonMobil representatives descended on Mayflower on Tuesday, nearly a year after the Pegasus Pipeline burst.  The company responsible for the spill updated the community on remediation efforts.

At ground-zero, the Northwoods Subdivision, Exxon said things are back to normal for the most part – roads are newly paved, the grass is cut – much better than the picture from a year ago. 

ExxonMobil executives and local government met to discuss the progress made.  The most important piece of news delivered was regarding the environment surrounding the pipeline.

"We have confirmation that there remains no ecological risk in the cove, in the channels, in the neighborhood," said Karen Tyrone, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company executive.  "All the testing supports that that worry does not exist."

Tyrone mentioned the soil and water samples were tested by both Exxon and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.  

But the worry that does remain for Exxon is the future of Northwoods.  The street predominantly affected by the oil spill, North Starlite Road, remains practically abandoned for the exception of two homes.  Exxon said they remain committed to making sure the homes are taken care of and marketed properly for resale.

"I definitely believe that, yes, they will take care of the neighborhood," said Michelle Ward, who continues to live in front of where the pipeline burst.  "It's mostly theirs."

Ward said Exxon owns most of the homes on her street.  Eighteen of her neighbors took advantage of Exxon's "Property Purchase Program," which was made available in some form or another to all 62 property owners in Northwoods.  Ward said the only reason she continues to live there is because she has to live there due to the terms of her home loan.

"I'm penalized for certain things such as selling my house in a certain amount of time," said Ward, commenting that Exxon's buyout options wouldn't jive with her loan.

Despite the progress made in the neighborhood, Exxon mentioned there continues to be an oil sheen that pops up every now and then in the cove area not far from the spill.  Although the concerns are cosmetic and not environmentally detrimental, Exxon said they are still committed to cleaning it up.