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Cause Of Exxon Oil Spill In Arkansas Under Investigation

Authorities are investigating what caused an Exxon Mobil pipeline to rupture in Mayflower, Ark., Friday. The oil spill caused 22 homes to be evacuated, according to an Exxon statement.

Local station KATV reports homeowners were told Saturday that they might not be able to return for "at least a week." Still, KATV says, there are residents who have been satisfied with officials' response. Evacuated resident Daniesha Modica told KATV:

"I think they did a great job honestly, I mean we were notified immediately to be evacuated. Exxon has been right there on point as far as accommodations."

Crews worked well into Saturday to clean up the spill. Exxon said in a release Saturday that "approximately 4,500 barrels of oil and water have been recovered." It says it responded as if there were 10,000 barrels spilled "to be conservative."

The Environmental Protection Agency considers the incident a "major spill," Exxon says.

Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson says the situation could have been "much worse," Michael Hibblen of member station KUAR tells our Newscast Desk. Dodson said:

"We're just glad that no one was injured, first and foremost, but then once the homes were evacuated, your next concern goes to property and environment."

Exxon says authorities are monitoring air quality, adding:

"The air quality does not likely present a human health risk, with the exception of the high pooling areas, where clean-up crews are working with safety equipment."

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