Tar Sands Blockade published new videos today (4/7) showing oil from the Arkansas pipeline rupture diverted from a residential neighborhood into a wetland area to keep it out sight and, most importantly, out of the media & public view.
April 7, 2013
While it’s not clear if the oil was intentionally moved into the wetland, the company says it is cleaning pavement with power washing devices, which could cause some of the oil to be pushed off neighborhood streets and into other areas.
Activists also interviewed a local resident who claimed the oil has continued “flowing” into Lake Conway since the spill happened.
“I don’t have allergies,” the man said. “But now my sinuses are bothering me. My throat’s bothering me. My eyes water constantly. But Exxon acts like nothing’s wrong. They don’t have to live here, we do. And we’re not moving just because of them.”
The activists noted that they were turned away from the area several times before by police and Exxon spill cleanup workers, but they returned on Saturday just before sundown and managed to sneak in to capture footage of the oiled wetlands. In two separate videos, nearby residents say they’ve been made sick by the spill, which has tremendously affected their air quality.
This footage has largely remained out of the media due to the lockdown that’s descended upon Mayflower nearly a week since the spill. Reporters touring the damage with Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel were allegedly turned away by Exxon workers. One journalist, Inside Climate News’s Susan White, was even threatened with arrest when she asked a question of Exxon’s “public affairs” desk inside the spill cleanup command center. The company has also secured a no-fly zone over the spill area.
Video of Lake Conway’s wetlands shows thousands of what Exxon called “absorbent pads” — which appear to be nothing more than paper towels — littering the blackened landscape as thick, soupy crude bubbles across the water’s surface. The company insists that air quality in the affected region is being measured by the Environmental Protection Agency, and that tests show “levels that are either non-detect or that are below any necessary action levels.” Exxon also says that the area’s drinking water remains unaffected.
A phone number given by Exxon to reach the company’s “downstream media relations” team did not appear to be correct, and a spokesperson was not available for comment.
Don’t let Exxon sweep this thing under the rug! Share this now, far & wide, with everybody you know! We cannot allow these corporate-committed environmental tragedies to continue to claim people, land & our future as victims in the wealth-owning, corporate elite’s illogical profit-making endeavors.