Question raised on oil in Lake Conway | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 22, 2013

Question raised on oil in Lake Conway

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

The Sierra Club has distributed a news release that says new information indicates oil of the type spilled in the ExxonMobil pipeline break in Mayflower has been found in Lake Conway. So far, Exxon has said the main body of the lake is free of oil, though a cove, with supposed blocks in place in connecting conduits, does contain oil from tar sands-like heavy Canadian crude shipped through the pipeline to Texas refineries. I've sought a comment from Exxon. The Sierra Club statement:

At today's Faulkner County Earth Day town hall meeting (focusing on the ExxonMobil tar sands spill in Mayflower), Mr. Scott Smith of OPFLEX SOLUTIONS presented preliminary results of water sampling in Lake Conway.

Smith's preliminary findings indicate the presence of tar sands oil in Lake Conway—both in the "cove" of Lake Conway and in the larger lake beyond the cove. These findings directly contradict repeated statements by ExxonMobil that Lake Conway is uncontaminated by the oil spill.

Smith stated: "Preliminary results show that the tar sands are not only in Lake Conway, but are moving beyond Lake Conway and toward the Arkansas River."

Smith's preliminary findings show numerous chemicals present in Lake Conway that are consistent with those contained in the tar sands that spewed from ExxonMobil's ruptured Pegasus pipeline on March 29th.

Smith can be reached at 508-776-2995 or by email at

In response to Smith's findings, Sierra Club issued the following statement from Glen Hooks (Senior Campaign Representative):

"If confirmed, these preliminary findings are alarming and of great concern. ExxonMobil, along with our state and local officials, have consistently denied that the tar sands spill reached Lake Conway. We now have scientific sampling that seems to show otherwise. It's time for ExxonMobil to level with the community and own up to the full extent of the damage it has caused."

Hooks said Smith is CEO of a company that makes a product used in oil spill cleanup. He's in Arkansas at his own expense. Hooks says has offered his product to Exxon for its use here free of charge, but the offer was declined.


In response to your recent inquiry, water sampling confirms the main body of Lake Conway remains oil-free. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality continues to monitor water samples. Further assessments also show there is no oil in Palarm Creek, which is located south of Lake Conway. Water data are posted on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s website and updated as it becomes available.

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