UPDATE: Our exclusive footage exposing Exxon’s tar sands spill coverup was picked up on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
UPDATE: Coverage on RT’s Thom Hartman Show
UPDATE: Correction: We originally reported that Exxon had allegedly pumped diluted bitumen which spilled into the Northwood Subdivision into a nearby wetland. We were mistaken; they power washed it into the nearby wetland via storm drains.
Mayflower, AR, April 5: We spent most of the day chasing down reports of oil sightings and talking to residents. Check out this interview with Duck, who has lived near lake Conway for 12 years:
We also had our first up-close encounter with the dirty, toxic stuff itself.
On Saturday, April 6, we finally found where Exxon’s been hiding their spilled diluted bitumen and we conducted more interviews. Watch this one with Sherry Appleman, who has lived on the shores of Lake Conway for 12 years. Her husband’s lung cancer has been worsened by the spill.
Watch the rest of Sherry’s interview here.
Just down the street, we found a whole family that had gotten sick from the spill:
That afternoon, we went to the Faulkner County Library for a meeting of roughly 100 affected residents and concerned community members. We offered ourselves as a resource and source of information, based on our experience fighting the Keystone XL pipeline and working against TransCanada. People aired their grievances and started to form working groups to start addressing various concerns – such as the fact that the Pegasus pipeline still runs through the Lake Maumelle watershed which supplies water to 400,000 people in Little Rock.
Then, we went to the wetland where Exxon has allegedly been dumping the diluted bitumen. That’s right: in order to get the tar sands out of the neighborhood where it spilled and out of sight and into one place for cleanup Exxon power-washed the excess into a wetland area which had already been affected by the spill. We went there to find out. It was just before sunset, and most of the workers had gone home. We had tried to access this area before but always been kept out by workers and police. (coordinates: +34° 57′ 42.65″, -92° 24′ 52.64″, just a couple hundred feet from the Bell Slough State Wildlife Management Area)
This local decided to get a firsthand experience of the spill: (disclaimer: toxins in diluted bitumen can absorb from the skin. Not recommended):
For more photos, check our Flickr page. (NOTE: Timestamps are incorrect and were added automatically by the camera. These photos were taken just before sunset on Saturday, April 6.)
A quick video tour of what used to be a wetland and now serves as a storage area for diluted bitumen spilled by Exxon’s negligence. (Explicit language warning):
Stay tuned for more developments and continue to follow our Twitter for live updates.
Check out the rest of our coverage:
Day 1 – Dispatches from Exxon’s Spill Zone
Days 2 – Dispatches from Exxon’s Spill Zone
Day 5 – The Cover-up Continues
Day 6 – In Storms Aftermath, Contaminants Continue To Spread; Local Workers Uninformed, Unprotected