Tag Archives: Exxon

Greenpeace FOIA Exposes Exxon Lies About Mayflower, AR Spill

26 May

The cove of Lake Conway which Exxon claimed was “oil-free”

Cross Posted From GreenPeace Blog

On March 29 ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the world, spilled at least 210,000 gallons of tar sands crude oil from an underground pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas. The pipeline was carrying tar sands oil from Canada, which flooded family residences in Mayflower in thick tarry crude. Exxon’s tar sands crude also ran into Lake Conway, which sits about an eighth of a mile from where Exxon’s pipeline ruptured.

A new batch of documents received by Greenpeace in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has revealed that Exxon downplayed the extent of the contamination caused by the ruptured pipeline. Records of emails between Arkansas’ DEQ and Exxon depict attempts by Exxon to pass off press releases with factually false information. In a draft press release dated April 8, Exxon claims “Tests on water samples show Lake Conway and the cove are oil-free.” However, internal emails from April 6 show Exxon knew of significant contamination across Lake Conway and the cove resulting from the oil spill.

When the chief of Arkansas Hazardous Waste division called Exxon out on this falsehood, Exxon amended the press release. However, they did not amend it to say that oil was in Lake Conway and contaminant levels in the lake were rising to dangerous levels, as they knew to be the case. Instead, they continue to claim that Lake Conway is “oil-free.” For the record, Exxon maintains that the “cove,” a section of Lake Conway that experienced heavy oiling from the spill, is not part of the actual lake. Exxon maintains this distinction in spite of Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel saying unequivocally “The cove is part of Lake Conway…The water is all part of one body of water.” Furthermore, Exxon water tests confirmed that levels of Benzene and other contaminants rose throughout the lake, not just in the cove area.

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Exxon’s Pegasus Pipeline Spills Again

1 May

by Edward McAllister and Robert Gibbons, Cross Posted from South Bend Tribune:

Spilt oil from Exxon pipeline runs between homes in North Woods Subdivision in Mayflower, Ark in early April. More oil from the same pipeline also spilled Tuesday in a yard in Missouri. (Reuters)

Spilt oil from Exxon pipeline runs between homes in North Woods Subdivision in Mayflower, Ark in early April. More oil from the same pipeline also spilled Tuesday in a yard in Missouri. (Reuters)

Exxon Mobil Corps near 70-year-old Pegasus oil pipeline spilled a small amount of crude on Tuesday into a residential yard in Ripley County, Missouri, a month after the same pipe spewed thousands of barrels of crude in Arkansas.

A resident notified the company of the spill after spotting a patch of oil and dead vegetation seven miles south of Doniphan in the southeast of the state, Exxon and state officials said on Wednesday.

About one barrel of crude leaked and the cleanup is “close to completion”, an Exxon spokeswoman said.

Tuesday’s spill occurred 200 miles north of Mayflower, Arkansas, where about 5,000 barrels of crude spilled from the Pegasus pipe into a residential area on March 29, prompting a giant clean-up operation that is still ongoing.

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Some Oil Spill Damage Can’t Be Cleaned Up

20 Apr

by Grayson / Earth First! Newswire

OilDamageCan'tBeCleaned

Photo from evelynwithoutoil.blogspot.com

A recent article in Newsweek outlines the shocking health problems, including neurological damage, that workers and residents at the 2010 BP oil spill disaster site have suffered in the three years since the incident. Considering the insane amount of oil spills that have taken place in the last couple months, it was too relevant to ignore.

As Newsweek writes, one victim of the spill, Jamie Griffin, was feeding cleanup crews during the disaster. Representatives from BP told Jamie that the oil tracking into her workspace was “safe,” and that she should “just mop it up,” which she attempted to do, having no idea the pain it was going to cause:

Within days, the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches. . . Like hundreds, possibly thousands, of workers on the cleanup, Griffin soon fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments. By July, unstoppable muscle spasms were twisting her hands into immovable claws. In August, she began losing her short-term memory. . . The right side, but only the right side, of her body “started acting crazy. It felt like the nerves were coming out of my skin. It was so painful. My right leg swelled—my ankle would get as wide as my calf—and my skin got incredibly itchy.”

“These are the same symptoms experienced by soldiers who returned from the Persian Gulf War with Gulf War syndrome,” says Dr. Michael Robichaux, a Louisiana physician and former state senator, who treated Griffin and 113 other patients with similar complaints. As a general practitioner, Robichaux says he had “never seen this grouping of symptoms together: skin problems, neurological impairments, plus pulmonary problems.”

Cleanup workers were not the only victims; coastal residents also suffered. “My 2-year-old grandson and I would play out in the yard,” says Shirley Tillman of the Mississippi coastal town Pass Christian. “You could smell oil and stuff in the air, but on the news they were saying it’s fine, don’t worry. Well, by October, he was one sick little fellow. All of a sudden, this very active little 2-year-old was constantly sick.”

Much of this pain and suffering was not caused by the oil alone, but by BP’s response to the spill; as if allowing hundreds of thousands of barrels of deadly crude oil to flow into the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t enough, many of you may remember that BP used a “dispersant” to “clean-up” (read: hide) the oil. The dispersant they used was Corexit, a substance that has now been found to make crude oil 52 times as toxic. Corexit is still a standard dispersant used for oil spill cleanups, as it is approved for use by the Oil Pollution Act. This dispersant likely played a large role in the physical and neurological damage workers and volunteers are still suffering today.

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Exxon Refinery Spills Unknown Amount of Chemicals

5 Apr


As ExxonMobil’s week from hell continues after a spill of Canadian crude oil and questions on why the energy giant is exempt from contributing to a federal cleanup fund, it is now dealing with a fresh chemical leak at a refinery in Chalmette, Louisiana.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, residents of the New Orleans suburb began reporting strong odor of “burning tires and oil” to the local Coast Guard on Wednesday.

The claims were soon connected to a report issued by the ExxonMobil refinery the same day.

Confusion remained, though, over the amounts and types of chemicals dumped as a result of a break in a pipeline connecting a drum used to store “liquid flare condensate” with a flare. At oil refineries, flares are gas combustion devices generally used to burn off flammable gas released by pressure relief valves. In this case, the spill itself was of the condensate water.

Once the refinery’s leak reached the threshold that would require it to be reported, ExxonMobil announced that it had released 100 pounds of hydrogen sulfide and 10 pounds of benzene, a volatile compound known to cause cancer.
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Tar Sands Bloopers Part 2!

30 Mar
A crew cleaning 30,000 gallons of tar sands spilled in MN

by Carter / Earth First! Newswire

If you missed the first edition it’s here

The embarrassing industrial gaffs just keep coming! Earlier this week TransCanda had to wipe the toxic egg of their face when a tailing pond from the tar sands spilled into the Athabasca River. As if that wasn’t enough to make you chuckle at the sheer negligence and/or stupidity of these blundering billionaires, the two additional tar sands spills that happened this week should have you laughing until you cry… and then weeping for hours. Continue reading

Earth First! Rendezvous begins amidst Exxon’s Yellowstone oil spill

5 Jul

Local buzz has already begun about Earth First! being in town. And people are paying attention, including the Port of Lewiston, local a pro-industry agency, who is re-posting Earth First! news reports.

This weekend also saw a serious oil spill in the nearby Yellowstone River. The spill has already spread 15 miles passed the original leak and continues to spread.

An excerpt from a re-posted article on the Port’s website, which ran originally in the local Tribune, states:

The largest annual event of the national environmental group is set to run July 5 through July 12 in the Lolo National Forest near, but not within sight of, U.S. Highway 12 between the Idaho border and Lolo, Mont., said Greg Mack, of Moscow, an organizer.

“The day after every rendezvous we do a direct action,” Mack said. “I have to tell you we don’t like to tell people exactly what we’re going to do so we have some element of surprise. If the megaloads during that time … aren’t moving, we may choose a completely different subject.”

ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil wants to send more than 100 oversized loads on U.S. 12. The loads, consisting of pieces of a processing plant bound for the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada, are so large they will take up both lanes of U.S. 12.

The Idaho Transportation Department hasn’t granted permission for the supersized cargo. The agency is waiting on a recommendation from a hearing officer who listened to representatives of opponents, Imperial Oil, Imperial Oil’s hired hauler and the Idaho Transportation Department in a proceeding that ended in May.

The possibility oversized loads might become common on the scenic corridor was a reason Earth First! selected western Montana as the site for the rendezvous, Mack said.”

More about Yellowstone oil spill

More about the Earth First! Rendezvous

Exxon causes oil spill in Yellowstone

3 Jul

Oil swirls in the Yellowstone river after an Exxon Mobil pipeline ruptured near Billings, Montana. Photograph: Larry Mayer/AP



Hundreds of barrels of crude oil spilled into Montana’s Yellowstone River after an ExxonMobil pipeline beneath the riverbed ruptured, sending a plume 25 miles downstream and forcing temporary evacuations, officials said.

The break near Billings in south-central Montana fouled the riverbank and forced municipalities and irrigation districts Saturday to close intakes.

The river has no dams on its way to its confluence with the Missouri River just across the Montana border in North Dakota. It was unclear how far the plume might travel.

ExxonMobil spokeswoman Pam Malek said the pipe leaked an estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels of oil for about a half-hour before it was shut down. Other Exxon officials had estimated up to 42,000 gallons of crude oil escaped.

Duane Winslow, Yellowstone County director of disaster and emergency services, said the plume was dissipating as it moved downstream. “We’re just kind of waiting for it to move on down while Exxon is trying to figure out how to corral this monster,” Winslow said.

Cleanup crews deployed booms and absorbent material as the plume moved downstream at an estimated 5 to 7 mph.