EXXON MOBIL'S PEGASUS PIPELINE BUSTS A GUT, MAYFLOWER AWASH
By William Boardman
National Security Demands Secrecy in the Heart of Arkansas
Within a week of the ExxonMobil tar sands oil pipeline burst in Mayflower, Arkansas, ExxonMobil was in charge of the clean-up, the U.S. government had established a no-fly zone over the area, some 40 residents were starting their second week of evacuation, ExxonMobil was threatening to arrest reporters trying to cover the spill, and several homeowners had filed a class action lawsuit seeking damages from the world's second-most profitable corporation that had helped keep the pipeline secret from terrorists.
Before March 29, even some people living next to ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline didn't knowit was there. All that changed abruptly around 2:45 pm that Good Friday afternoon, when a resident of the suburban subdivision reported a fresh rivulet of diluted Wabasca heavy crude oil from Canada snaking across the lawn, pooling around children's yard toys, filling gutters, and flowing on down the street, to the nearest storm drain. (Horrendous slideshow here)
And it smelled! The smell carried for miles. Up close, prolonged exposure was potentially unhealthy, for lung, brain, peace of mind. Environmental responders monitored the air quality for days, but only some of the cleanup workers wore breathing masks.