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Tests Show Oil in Lake Conway

Exxon continues to deny contamination

Adam Roy

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Oil from a burst pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, has reached Lake Conway despite Exxon Mobil’s insistence that the lake is still clean, an oil-cleanup specialist says. Scott Smith, president and CEO of Opflex Solutions, told KATV that tests of the lake had revealed methylene chloride and barium, two chemicals indicative of the presence of tar sands oil.

“Yes, there’s oil in Lake Conway and there’s oil downstream flowing in to the Arkansas River,” Smith said.

As of Tuesday, Exxon Mobil, the company that operates the pipeline, continued to insist that no oil from the spill had reached Lake Conway. Smith said that the discrepency could be due to differences between Exxon and Opflex’s testing methods: Smith’s company tests the water column, while Exxon takes its samples from the surface and the soil in the lake’s bed.

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