Mayflower, Ark. (KTHV) - At a meeting with homeowners Saturday, members of the Pipeliners Local Union 798 told Mayflower residents negligence on the part of ExxonMobil is to blame for the recent oil pipeline rupture.
"Crude oil isn't bad. Pipelines aren't bad. It's typically the organizations that run them," said Danny Hendrix with the Pipeliners Local Union 798.
Hendrix believes aged pipelines should be replaced across the country.
"The companies like ExxonMobil, they don't want to spend the money to fix these old lines. Fifty percent of the lines in the United States were build in the 50s and 60s and they're worn out," said Hendrix.
On Saturday, the Pipeliners Union presented the 22 displaced families with checks for $1000.
"You are fortunate that wasn't a gas line behind your house because most of you all would be dead right now," said Hendrix.
ExxonMobil responded to the claims at a press conference on Saturday.
"The pipeline is inspected using inline inspection tools. The pipeline is monitored by our control center in Houston and we follow the regulatory requirements for inspection and maintenance of that pipeline," said Mark Weesner with ExxonMobil.
Weesner said it is still not clear what caused the rupture.
He said the investigation is being handled by the Department of Transportation.
While the Pipleliners Union maintains Exxon overloaded a pipeline built in the 1940s, Exxon said the pipeline carries up to 95,000 barrels of oil a day.