60 Days Later: Lawsuit filed, health concerns surround oil spill

MAYFLOWER (KATV) - It's been 60 days since oil flooded a neighborhood in Mayflower, and now lawsuits are spilling in against Exxon and other parties.

As we learned Wednesday at a community wide meeting, residents feel they are continuing to be brushed to the side when it comes to complications from the oil spill.

In the last two months we've covered everything from air pollution, water quality tests and unanswered questions for people who are just trying to return home. Whatever the problem each person has, there are still several unresolved.

This week more than 50 Mayflower landowners and neighbors filed a lawsuit against an array of parties, including Exxon, EMPCO and the developer of Northwoods Subdivision. The lawsuit cites an array of issues since the oil spill, including some surrounding health concerns.

"Our life is not normal, between traffic from the tanker trucks, to traffic down our roads, to the air monitoring systems, even to the habitat of letting my children play," said concerned parent Genieve Long. "Even to the environmental hazards, it's just been a complete mess."

Living only a quarter of a mile from the cove where oil has been pumped into, Long may not be on the long list of defendants listed in the most recent lawsuit, but that doesn't mean her family is an exception to experiencing side effects without assistance for those issues.

"Breathing, wheezing, headaches, nausea, vomiting, all of the symptoms of chemical exposure, and nothing has been done to help us," Long added about health problems that arose since the oil spill around her household.

Wednesday's meeting for county residents marked an opportunity to receive additional information now that 60 days have passed since the oil spill. One major player the advisory committee said has been missing from the meetings is Exxon.

"We've been told that there is not a professional in the area to come to the meeting, to speak out," Emily Harris, with the Faulkner County Advisory Group, told Channel 7 Wednesday.

"How can they have this sort of environment disaster, and not have a professional on hand that's able to speak out about their operations?"

In a release Wednesday evening Mayflower maintained air testing results show effects below being hazardous, so going forward it will not do any further outdoor testing for air quality.

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