ExxonMobil has agreed a $5 million settlement over a crude oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, in March 2013.
The company will pay civil penalties, fund an environmental project and take steps to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and state environmental laws in relation to the rupture of the Pegasus Pipeline, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Specifically, ExxonMobil will pay $3.19 million in federal civil penalties, $1 million in state civil penalties, $600,000 for a project to improve water quality at Lake Conway, and $280,000 to the Arkansas Attorney General's Office for the state's litigation costs. It will also address pipeline safety issues and the company's oil spill response capability.
The Pegasus Pipeline was carrying Canadian heavy crude oil from Illinois to Texas. When it ruptured in the Northwoods neighborhood of Mayflower, oil flowed into homes and yards before entering a nearby creek, wetlands and a cove of Lake Conway. Approximately 3,190 barrels, or 134,000 gallons, of oil were released.
As a result of the contamination, some residents had evacuate their homes after the spill and remained displaced for an extended period of time.
"This settlement holds ExxonMobil accountable for this very serious oil spill and its disastrous impact on the Mayflower community and environment," commented Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Cruden added that the agreement will benefit public health and the environment and help prevent future disasters by requiring better pipeline safety and response measures.