The ExxonMobil Pipeline Company was hit with a $2.63 million civil penalty on Thursday from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a 2013 pipeline spill in Arkansas.

The civil penalty was issued by the department’s Pipeline Safety Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA) for a March 29, 2013 spill at the Pegasus Pipeline near Mayflower that released about 3,190 barrels of crude in a residential area.

There were no drinking water impacts or injuries but there were minor impacts to  plant life in the immediate area, the agency said.

The spill also caused an estimated $57,500,000 in property damage.

The rupture occurred in the residential area of Northwoods Subdivision, on the right-of-way between two single family homes, and forced 22 households to be evacuated.

Exxon demolished two of the affected houses in October 2013 after crude was discovered in their foundations.

The houses were sold to the ExxonMobil Pipeline Company prior to the demolition.

The company also compensated home owners for property value losses caused by the spill.

An evaluation of the pipeline performed by Hurst Metallurgical Research Laboratory found that the failure was tied to “the reduction of wall thickness in the upset zone of the Electrical Resistance Weld (ERW) seam” caused by a manufacturing defect.

A probe by the agency determined that Exxon’s failure to assess the pipeline with methods that could have detected the issue was a contributing factor in the accident.

The PHSMA found that the company committed nine pipeline safety violations tied to the Mayflower spill and has fined Exxon $2,630,400.

Exxon told Reuters it has received the agency’s letter and is evaluating its options.

The company agreed to pay $5 million in civil penalties in April to settle Clean Water Act and environmental violations related to the accident.


Leave a Reply