April 22, 2015 / 12:40 PM / 5 years ago

Exxon Mobil to pay $5.07 million for 2013 Arkansas oil spill

Spilt oil from Exxon pipeline runs between homes in North Woods Subdivision in Mayflower, Arkansas in this April 1, 2013 photo released to Reuters on April 11, 2013. REUTERS/EPA/Handout

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp has agreed to pay $5.07 million to resolve allegations it violated the federal Clean Water Act and state environmental laws in connection with a 2013 oil spill in Arkansas, the U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday.

The March 29, 2013 spill occurred after the rupture of Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline, causing about 3,190 barrels, or 134,000 gallons, of oil to flow through a residential neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas and nearby waterways including Lake Conway, which flows into the Arkansas River.

Under a consent decree made public on Wednesday, Exxon will pay $4.19 million in federal and state civil penalties, $600,000 to improve water quality in Lake Conway, and $280,000 to cover Arkansas’ litigation costs. Exxon will also take steps to respond more effectively to potential future spills.

The oil company did not admit liability, according to the consent decree, which was filed with the federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas, about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Mayflower.

“We regret that this incident occurred and apologize for the disruption and inconvenience that it caused,” ExxonMobil Pipeline Co said in a statement. “ExxonMobil launched a rapid and effective response and worked closely with the U.S. EPA and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to ensure cleanup and restoration took place as quickly as possible.”

Built in the 1940s, the Pegasus pipeline runs about 850 miles (1,368 km) from Illinois to Texas and transports Canadian heavy crude oil, the Justice Department said. The area near the rupture site has not been used since the spill, it added.

The case is U.S. et al v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Co et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, No. 13-00355.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Paul Simao

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