Thursday, May 9, 2013

McDaniel announces air test results in Mayflower oil spill homes

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today announced results of air tests in 14 homes in Mayflower in the area of spill of Canadian tar sands crude from the ruptured ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline.

He said air quality in 13 of the home could not be expected to cause short-term health harm. But he said the Health Department, which reviewed the independently gathered sampling data, found an "indeterminate" public health hazard in one home. Further testing was recommended for the unoccupied home.

None of the data indicates a long-term health risk, McDaniel's release said. However:

McDaniel said he remained concerned over reports from area residents who have experienced headaches and nausea. His office will continue monitoring air quality, including in other residences affected by the spill, like those near the “cove” area of Lake Conway.

Also today: members of the Remember Mayflower Coalition traveled to Washington to make a symbolic delivery of a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to visit Mayflower and see damage there before approving a route for the Keystone XL pipeline.

NEWS RELEASE

LITTLE ROCK — Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today continued to provide information and resources to the people of Arkansas related to the Mayflower oil spill, adding a toll-free hotline and releasing air-quality findings based on samples his office has collected.

“Today, I am posting on my website the initial air-quality findings from residences in the Northwoods subdivision in Mayflower,” McDaniel said. “I also have created a toll-free hotline specifically for spill-related consumer concerns.”

The hotline number is (855) 388-6555.

The Attorney General’s Office conducted indoor air sampling in 14 homes in the Northwoods subdivision, at the request of subdivision residents. The results were generally consistent with findings from air sampling and monitoring completed by other entities.

The Arkansas Department of Health reviewed the data from the AG’s independent sampling, and determined that, in 13 of the 14 homes, “breathing the indoor air is not expected to harm people’s short-term health.” However, ADH stated that there is an “indeterminate” public health hazard at one of the homes. The Department recommended further testing at that residence after remediation work is completed in order to determine whether the home should be reoccupied. It has not been occupied since the spill.

ADH said none of the air-quality data demonstrate a risk to long-term health of affected residents.

McDaniel said he remained concerned over reports from area residents who have experienced headaches and nausea. His office will continue monitoring air quality, including in other residences affected by the spill, like those near the “cove” area of Lake Conway.

The ADH report is posted on a page of the Attorney General’s website dedicated specifically to providing consumers with information about the oil spill, www.ArkansasAG.gov/oilspill.

“Mayflower residents are rightly concerned about the effects of this oil spill on their property and their well-being,” McDaniel said. “My office will assist consumers in any way it can, whether through my Health Care Bureau addressing concerns related to the carcinogens released into the air, or my Consumer Protection Division making sure residents don’t fall victim to door-to-door sales scams.”

The new hotline will connect consumers directly to a member of McDaniel’s Mayflower Consumer Response Team, which he created to focus on issues being raised by area residents directly impacted by the March 29 spill.

McDaniel encouraged any Arkansan who has concerns, questions or a consumer complaint related to the spill to call the hotline or send an email to OilSpill@ArkansasAG.gov. He also requested that anyone with photographs or video taken the day of the spill or thereafter to email those images to OilSpill@ArkansasAG.gov.

Both the hotline and email address will provide consumers with direct access to the Mayflower Consumer Response Team.

Mayflower Consumer Response Hotline: (855) 388-6555
Email: OilSpill@ArkansasAG.gov
On the web: www.ArkansasAG.gov/oilspill

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