Residents in Mayflower, Arkansas, have been sick, coughing and with chronic headaches. Many are leaving their neighborhood and moving somewhere safer. When one of ExxonMobil’s pipeline’s burst about a year ago, a major oil spill overtook their community. Oil poured through the streets and onto the lawns. Large cleanup operations came in to help, but the environmental damage remains, affecting the health of nearby homeowners. Today, environmental officials tell the residents that it’s safe to stay, but residents feel very different, as they continue to show illness, dizziness, headaches and nausea as a result of the oil spill’s toxic environmental effects. Exxon representatives and state and federal EPA workers say the area is safe, but the the property owners feel differently, sickened and invaded. It was nearly a year ago, March 29, 2013, when the Pegasus pipeline burst, pouring thousands of barrels of Canadian crude oil into the suburban Mayflower, Arkansas, area. The pipeline rupture caused the evacuation of 20 homes. Today, residents who cannot afford to leave are suffering from chronic health problems. The serene suburban area was once a nice place to raise a family. After the spill, it has become a toxic oil wasteland, reeking with the stench of oil. One resident, Ann Jarrell, said, “If it rained, I could not stay here, because it would all seep up, the oil, again. Where the ground was dry, it would kind of encase it, and then when it rained, all those vapors would come back again.” She reports of constant headaches and coughing and hopes to move. More
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