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Ark. rep. backs request to move Exxon pipeline

MAYFLOWER, Ark. (AP) -- Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin is asking Exxon Mobil Corp. to relocate part of its Pegasus pipeline that ruptured last month in Mayflower, spilling about 5,000 barrels of oil.

In a letter dated Tuesday, Griffin supported Central Arkansas Water's request to move the pipeline away from the Lake Maumelle watershed, which provides drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people.

The March 29 pipeline rupture did not occur in the Lake Maumelle watershed, and Exxon says the spill didn't contaminate Mayflower's drinking water supply.

Exxon has said it will respond to Central Arkansas Water's request and that now it's focusing on cleanup in the Mayflower area.

In his letter, Griffin says he's concerned that steepness in the Lake Maumelle watershed could "exacerbate" contamination of the lake if oil spilled in that area.