First Lawsuit over Exxon Arkansas Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Spill

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Exxon oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas (photo: EPA)

Less than two weeks after the spill and the first lawsuit has already been filed against ExxonMobil and others over the Arkansas oil mess.


A pipeline carrying tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Gulf Coast ruptured on March 29, spilling thousands of barrels of oil into a residential area of the small town of Mayflower (population: 2,234).


Plaintiffs Kathryn Jane Roachell Chunn and Kimla Green sued ExxonMobil and three pipeline subsidiaries, seeking at least $5 million in property damages on behalf of themselves and others who live within 3,000 feet of the broken pipeline.


ExxonMobil is accused of reversing the direction of the pipeline’s flow and increasing its capacity by 50%, both of which contributed to the accident, according to the plaintiffs.


The pipeline, built in the 1940s and buried two feet underground, has been shut down since the accident.


Meanwhile, environmentalists claim some of the spilled oil was diverted into a wetland area to minimize the damage to homes.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Class Sues Exxon for Tar Sands Oil Spill (by Erik de La Garza, Courthouse News)

Federal Lawsuit Filed Over Arkansas Oil Spill (by Jeannie Nuss, Associated Press)

14 Things You Need to Know About the Horrifying Arkansas Oil Spill (by William Boardman, AlterNet)

Activists Claim Arkansas Oil Spill Diverted Into Wetland (by Stephen C. Webster, Raw Story)

Congress and Oil Spill Safety Laws: Introduced-150; Passed-0 (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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