• ON PIPELINE ROUTE: Lake Maumelle.

The board of the Central Arkansas Water utility met today and, as expected, adopted a resolution asking for information from Exxon Mobil about causes of the pipeline rupture at Mayflower and for assurances about future safe operation before the Pegasus pipeline is restarted.

Long-term, but within five years, the utility board said it wanted Exxon to relocate the line, which runs through 13.5 miles of the Lake Maumelle watershed, including skirting the edge of the reservoir, a primary water supply for Central Arkansas customers. The resolution asks for a report on relocation within six months.

The board resolution also requests a demonstration of the integrity of the pipeline before it begins operating again and free of any defect that might have caused the Mayflower rupture. It also asks a range of steps within 12 months on risk mitigation, including emergency response plan and training updates, more frequent monitoring activities and “pipeline redundancy and integrity improvements.”


Here’s a copy of the resolution adopted today.

I’ve sought a response from an Exxon PR official. The pipeline carries heavy crude from the tar sands of Canada to refineries near the Texas Gulf coast. It carries material very similar to the Canadian tar sands crude projected to be delivered by the proposed and hotly controversial Keystone XL pipeline through the Great Plains.

UPDATE: An e-mailed response from Exxon:

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company informed Central Arkansas Water that the company could not attend today’s meeting because company officials were fully focused on the clean up and recovery of the Mayflower incident. We informed CAW that we would participate in one of their future meetings.

Patrick McGinn