In a letter sent to an Arkansas lawmaker in Washington on Tuesday, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the federal government shutdown is starting to impede work addressing the aftermath of the Mayflower oil spill.
The letter to U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., states that because several federal employees in the state are furloughed as a result of the shutdown, those who have been "working cooperatively" with the attorney general's office on the investigation into the March 29 rupture of the Exxon Mobil Pegagus pipeline are now unable to help.
Those employees include several people from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Division, McDaniel said in the letter.
The letter contends that the prolonged absence of those human resources will "significantly impede" the state's litigation efforts against Exxon and the federal investigation into the cause of spill.
McDaniel asked Griffin in the letter to "use your influence with Speaker Boehner and the leadership in Congress to reopen the government."
Griffin acknowledged McDaniel's concerns Tuesday afternoon in letter of response, which in part stated that he would lead a bipartisan group of congressmen Wednesday to urge "all of our leaders [to] sit down and start talking to find a solution."
Read more about this story in Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.