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Almost One Year Later, Officials Talk Mayflower Oil Spill

Saturday marks one year since more than 200,000 gallons of sticky crude oil poured out of a ruptured pipeline here. Exxon Mobil says it's spent $70M trying to clean up. Tuesday, was a day for officials to talk about all the progress that's been made over the last year
MAYFLOWER, AR -- Saturday marks one year since more than 200,000 gallons of sticky crude oil poured out of a ruptured pipeline here.

Exxon Mobil says it's spent $70M trying to clean up.

Tuesday, was a day for officials to talk about all the progress that's been made over the last year.

Tough questions about the future of the pipeline remain unanswered.

"2013 was not the greatest year, but today I look forward to a great future," said Mayflower mayor Randy Holland, during the meeting at city hall.

"For Exxon Mobil and for me personally, we truly regret the incident," explained Exxon Mobil VP of Pipeline Operations, Karen Tyrone. 

Tyrone said thousands of air, water and soil samples show cleanup has been thorough and there's no lasting danger to people or the environment.

"There's clearly been a lot of work done," said Faulkner County Judge, Allen Dodson, speaking about progress in the Northwoods subdivision where the spill originated.

The oil is gone in Northwoods, but so are three homes that where bulldozed because oil seeped under the foundation.  Two dozen other homes sit empty.  They were sold to Exxon Mobil by residents wanting out.

"All I'm concerned with is making sure this doesn't happen again," said Dodson.

Still, almost a year after the spill, no one could answer key questions about the future of the nearly 70-year-old Pegasus pipeline that cuts across the Lake Maumelle watershed -- the drinking water source for almost a half million Arkansans.

When asked if Exxon Mobil desires to restart Pegasus, Tyrone replied:

"I think it is our desire to prove the integrity of the pipeline, and as we've said all along, we won't restart it unless we think we can do it safely and responsibly."

A key date to watch for will be April 7th.  That is the deadline for Exxon Mobil to submit a remedial work plan to the federal government. 
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