Arkansas Online reported on March 29, the day of the spill, without indicating the source of the information, that "Oil that spilled into waterways from a ruptured pipeline in Mayflower has been contained."
The report continued:
"Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson said blockades have been set up at two different locations along a waterway that flows into Lake Conway. Those blockades are preventing the contaminated water from passing".
"A dam made of dirt,
wood and other building materials has been erected in the initial ditch that
contains a majority of the oil, with an additional blockade set up in two
culverts connected to coves that allow water into Lake Conway".
"The obstructions will prevent any oil from passing through for an extended period of time, possibly days, Dodson added."
If the oil was contained the first day, what's all the fuss about?
Early reports appear to have been over-optimistic.
There are more than 100 photographs on the website for the EPA On Site Coordinator, from the period March 29-April 6. They show that the oil got into active waterways almost immediately on March 29. And at least some of the oil was also flowing on the ground and into the street, ending up going down a storm drain.
EPA image #78 shows "Sorbent boom in place at discharge point from neighborhood underneath Main Street" -- four days after the spill, on April 2.
EPA image #90 shows "Containment boom installed in Lake Conway" on April 2.
Has tar sands oil reached Lake Conway or not?
ExxonMobil reportedly says it has not.
Grist.org reporter Suzi Parker says that Arkansas Attorney General McDaniel "reported Friday morning [April 5] that there is oil in Lake Conway despite ExxonMobil's assurances to the contrary."
The Grist report adds: