Video taken by a resident of Northwoods subdivision in Mayflower, Arkansas of oil seeping up from the ground.
The Exxon Pegasus tar sands pipeline, which was shut down on March 29 after a rupture was detected in Arkansas, will need to be excavated as the company looks to determine what caused the breach, a spokeswoman said.
There is still no specific estimate of how much crude oil had spilled, but Exxon said on Sunday that 12,000 barrels of oil and water had been recovered - up from 4,500 barrels on Saturday. Inside Climate News reports that the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated the spill at 84,000 gallons
From "Stop Killing our World" on Tumblr, this is said to be a photo of the backyard of one of the homes in that Arkansas subdivision.
A company spokesman confirmed the line was carrying Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude. Principal producers of Wabasca include Cenovus Energy and Canadian Natural Resources. That grade is a heavy bitumen crude diluted with lighter liquids (Also referred to as "dilbit") to allow it to flow through pipelines, according to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), which referred to Wabasca as "oil sands" in a report.
The Environmental Protection Agency declared the Arkansas leak a “major spill,” a label put on any spill of 250 barrels or more.
Exxon was hit with a $1.7 million fine by regulators just last week over a 2011 spill in the Yellowstone River.
“This latest pipeline incident is a troubling reminder that oil companies still have not proven that they can safely transport Canadian tar sands oil across the United States without creating risks to our citizens and our environment,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee.
A petition filed with federal agencies last week by a coalition led by the National Wildlife Federation is demanding a moratorium on pending tar sands pipelines, including the Keystone XL, until regulators establish new rules to ensure the safety of wildlife and communities.
This latest pipeline rupture in Arkansas now serves as a exclamation point of the need for the called for guidelines and regulations.
To sign a petition calling on President Obama to reject the planned Keystone XL pipeline that will bring yet more of this dirty, dangerous tar sands oil through the United States, click here.