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story.lead_photo.caption 3/29/13 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON David Thomas, with FCC Environmental, uses a large vacumn line to suck thick black oil from a creek, just 40 yards east of I-40, which feeds into Lake Conway in Mayflower Friday afternoon at a nearby pipeline break. The creek was just a few hundred yard south of the Mayflower exit at Hwy 89. ( Stephen B. Thornton)

The new owner of a pipeline that ruptured in a central Arkansas neighborhood in 2013 is looking into a possible restart, and water utility officials are watching.

Energy Transfer Partners LLC, which owns the Pegasus pipeline, notified Central Arkansas Water on Oct. 24 that the company intends to begin testing the pipeline, which hasn't been in operation since 2013.

The 858-mile pipeline stretches from south Texas to Illinois. When it was in use, it transported crude and refined oil products.

On March 29, 2013, a rupture of the pipeline spilled tens of thousands of gallons of heavy crude oil into a subdivision in Mayflower. The oil also reached drainage ditches and a cove of Lake Conway. Exxon owned the pipeline at the time and is still a minority owner.

Central Arkansas Water CEO Tad Bohannon briefed the utility's board of commissioners on the potential restart at its regular meeting Thursday. The pipeline runs through the watershed of Lake Maumelle, one of the utility's water sources.

If there were a rupture along the north shore, oil would make its way into the lake; the 2013 break would have been "catastrophic" for the utility's water supply had it occurred 9 miles farther down the pipeline, spokesman Doug Shackelford said. The pipeline runs through more than a dozen smaller water utility systems in Arkansas as well.

Pipeline regulations exist mainly at the federal level. Bohannon said the utility would stay in communication with Energy Transfer, though Central Arkansas Water general counsel David Johnson said he didn't know of any requirement that the company give public notice if it does decide to reopen the pipeline.

Metro on 11/15/2019

Print Headline: New owner of pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas in 2013 keeping eye on potential restart


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