Griffin: PHMSA Report Raises More Questions about ExxonMobil’s Operation of the Pegasus Pipeline

Nov 6, 2013 Issues: Energy, Environment, Health

LITTLE ROCK – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) cited ExxonMobil for nine “probable violations of the Pipeline Safety Regulations” in its maintenance of the Pegasus Pipeline, which ruptured in Mayflower earlier this year and spilled an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil:

“PHMSA’s report raises more questions about ExxonMobil’s operation of the Pegasus Pipeline, and I’m committed to holding them accountable.  When it comes to protecting our communities, our environment and our drinking water, meeting the minimum requirements of the law should be a given, and going the extra mile to ensure pipeline safety is the right thing to do.  On Monday, I visited the Lake Maumelle watershed and saw where the pipeline is exposed and potentially vulnerable, and I am more concerned than ever.  I will continue to urge ExxonMobil to relocate the pipeline away from the watershed and work with everyone involved to keep the drinking water for over 400,000 Arkansans safe.”

PHMSA’s report, which was sent to ExxonMobil today, lists nine probable violations of federal regulations and proposes a penalty of more than $2.6 million.

On Monday, Rep. Griffin visited the Lake Maumelle watershed as part of his “Second District 24/7 Tour,” a series of 24 visits in 7 days to communities, businesses and organizations.  The Pegasus Pipeline runs through more than 13 miles of the watershed and also crosses some of the lake’s tributaries.