A news media tour was held Saturday at the Mayflower, AR, oil spill area under the joint command of local, state and federal officials, as well as ExxonMobil representatives. The event was held to provide an update of the spill, which occurred March 29 when a portion of the ExxonMobil Pegasus Pipeline ruptured. Since then, the portion of the 850-mile oil pipeline that failed has been removed for analysis at an independent laboratory and a new section of pipeline installed, all under state and federal oversight. In ExxonMobil's most recent daily report the company indicated that cleanup was coming to an end and remediation of the area should begin soon. Monitoring by the company and various agencies has indicated that there has been no contamination of water or air from the spilling of what is estimated to be 5,000 bbl of oil. Besides U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives, there have been representatives from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Arkansas Attorney General's Office and local government on the scene since the cleanup began. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel launched an investigation several days after the incident (see Shale Daily, April 3).
Elected officials in Ellwood City, PA, voted this month to devote $250,000 from the sale of Marcellus Shale gas drilling leases to repay a 10-year-old bond to renovate the borough's swimming pool. According to the Ellwood City Ledger, the borough, located in Beaver and Lawrence counties, received $370,000 from leasing borough property. The borough spent about half of the remaining $120,000 on repairs at the pool.