A crude oil pipeline owned by Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) ruptured on March 29 in Mayflower, Ark., just outside Little Rock, as much as 19,000 barrels of heavy crude spilled into the streets and yards. The Pegasus pipeline is still out of service.
Late yesterday the state attorney general and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sued the company for improper waste storage and water contamination related to Exxon’s action during the clean-up effort. The company is charged with storing contaminated material alongside a highway without a permit, which could cost Exxon $25,000 per violation.
The suit also seeks penalties for violations of state and federal clean air and water laws and penalties could cost Exxon another $10,000 per violation per day. The attorney general said:
This spill disrupted lives and damaged our environment. As the party responsible for this incident, Exxon is also responsible for the penalties imposed by the state for the damage to our environment and the company should foot the bill for the state’s clean-up costs.
Residents affected by the spill have filed a class-action suit seeking $5 million in damages from Exxon.