60 Days Out: How Is Mayflower?

OIl Spill 4Staff Report

Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group (FCCAG), whose mission is to promote community health and all-hazard preparedness, is hosting a second interactive Town Hall event to discuss the on-going oil disaster in Mayflower. This date marks the 60-day anniversary of the Pegasus pipeline rupture, May 29. Representatives from Exxon, state and local officials, environmental and non-profit groups and the general public are invited to attend from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arkansas Game and Fish Clubhouse at the Field Trial Training area off Clinton Road in Mayflower.

The goal of the event is to facilitate networking between community members and decision makers and educate on the importance of the wetlands of Lake Conway. Interactive panel discussions and individual presentations will focus on long term-ecosystem consequences and the potential effect on the wetlands surrounding Lake Conway. This event is made possible through funding from the League of Women Voters of Arkansas.

Emily Lane, FCCAG Board member, will recap the Earthday Townhall event held on April 22 and update conditions. A panel of Mayflower residents will provide insight from the effected community perspective. Aerial footage of Lake Conway and surrounding wetlands filmed the morning of May 8 will be shown. Glen Hooks, Sierra Club of Arkansas, and David Lincoln, Environmental Geologist in the petrochemical field, will provide details concerning the recommendations for a Qualified Settlement Fund. Central Arkansas Water will also make a presentation regarding pipeline issues in the CAW watershed.

A panel focused on the environmental impacts of the Mayflower pipeline rupture will be moderated by Joyce Hale, a member of League of Women Voters of Arkansas, to discuss water and air quality testing and analysis. Featured panelists will include Tammie J. Hynum, Chief of the Hazardous Waste Division of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, April Lane, FCCAG School Health and Safety Chairperson in charge of independent air sampling and president of Environmental Alliance at UCA, and Scott C. Smith, founder and CEO of Opflex Solutions, LLC. Mr. Smith collaborates with scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and has participated in the scientific and independent water column testing in and around the wetlands of Lake Conway subsequent to the Mayflower oil disaster. It is expected that local biologists will join the panel to complete the participant lineup. Accredited independent water testing results will be presented.

Residents of Mayflower and surrounding areas are encouraged to attend, share their experiences about the disaster and meet other affected community members. Stewards of the Pegasus Pipeline along with national and state environmental stewards have been invited to attend and share information with presentations and display exhibits.

Wetland management and preservation are vitally important aspects to stabilize and maintain the health of the surrounding ecosystem and community. FC Citizens Advisory Group will continue to strive to connect the affected residents and communities with those public servants responsible to ensure wetland viability and ecosystem sustainability.

The event is open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

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