Close is a relative term. There's no suggestion so far that the subdivision was built illegally, or didn't have the right permits, or interfered with the pipeline right of way, or anything like that.
Interestingly, though, the Arkansas Times interviewed a former ExxonMobil pipeline worker who raised questions about the company's commitment to safety.
The report continued:
"He raised, too, a question mentioned here yesterday by another pipeline engineer about the wisdom of building new subdivisions over existing pipelines, as happened in Mayflower.
"Considering the potential stress of building on top of a pipeline and the high pressure used when transporting heavy crude," the developer of Northwoods should have worked with Exxon to reroute Pegasus around the neighborhood.
"Other options, he said, include replacing the section of the pipeline with newer, stronger steel or burying it deeper under the ground," But pipeline companies have little incentive to take costly preventative action.
"'Even if they get a fine the fine will be a small fraction of the cost to correct a dangerous condition,' he said."
Who is the Mayflower Incident Unified Command?
The command's letterhead includes the logos for ExxonMobil, Faulkner County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Service (EPA), and the City of Mayflower, Arkansas.
It's been hard for reporters on the scene to learn much more. Even CBS News had to stay outside the yellow tape.
Hasn't ExxonMobil been forthcoming with information and documentation relating to the Pegasus pipeline rupture?
Well, no, not really.
As a result, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued a subpoena for relevant documents from ExxonMobil. The deadline for complying with the subpoena is April 10, almost two weeks after the spill. ExxonMobil has said it will comply.
Why isn't ExxonMobil more open, since we give them subsidies and tax breaks worth billions of dollars every year?
Don't start with that. This is about Mayflower, Arkansas. You can read about the tax shelter and subsidy thing somewhere else, such as American Progress.
But ExxonMobil does have to pay into the federally mandated fund for oil spill cleanups, right?