mayflower crude oil spill

Earlier this year, an ExxonMobil pipeline oil spill dumped around 5,000 barrels of heavy crude oil in suburban Mayflower, AR. It was a mess, and prompted a discussion about oil pipelines in the US, most notably the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Yesterday, the US Department of Justice and the state of Arkansas filed a joint lawsuit against the oil company over the spill, claiming Exxon violated state pollution laws, according to Reuters. ExxonMobil declined to comment on the matter to Reuters, saying it needed

Reading the joint complaint (PDF), the DOJ and Arkansas allege that there was an "unlawful discharge of heavy crude oil" from the 850-mile Pegasus Pipeline, which was first built in the 1940s and runs from Illinois to Texas. It usually transports 95,000 barrels of heavy Canadian crude oil per day, but have been closed since the spill.

The spilled oil "caused and continues to cause pollution to waters of the State," the complaint says, and the parts that ExxonMobil was supposed to have cleaned up remain a mess. The state and the DOJ are seeking civil penalties of "$1,100 per barrel discharged ... or if the violation is the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct, no more than $4,300 per barrel discharged," among other fines. You can see a video of the spill below.