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April 11, 2014

MADIGAN: PIPELINE OPERATORS TO CLEAN UP 1,500-GALLON OIL SPILL NEAR KANKAKEE

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced an agreed order with two Kankakee area pipeline operators that will ensure the companies complete an investigation into the cause of a 1,500-gallon petroleum gas spill and fully remediate the contaminated site.

A Kankakee County judge ordered pipeline operators and owners Wood River Pipe Lines, LLC and Buckeye Partners, LP to provide Madigan’s office and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) with reports on cleanup work at the site of the spill located under Illinois Route 113 near the intersection with West Road 2750. In addition, the judge required the companies to submit proposals for monitoring and remediating contaminated soil and groundwater. The order also requires the defendants to continue to test for any contamination to residential well water near the spill site and monitor the Kankakee River for any signs of residual petroleum sheen.

“The court’s order requires the pipeline operators to thoroughly assess the environmental damage and restore the surrounding area,” Madigan said. “These are the first steps toward ensuring that the companies involved are held fully responsible for this incident.”

On March 14, the IEPA and other state and county emergency responders discovered the spill of a mixture of gasoline, diesel and other fuel mixtures in a drainage ditch on the south side of Route 113. The immediate surrounding area is a mixed rural and residential area just south of the Kankakee River. Two subdivisions are located less than a mile north of the site, and there are 39 private water wells in the vicinity.

Madigan’s office received IEPA’s referral on the matter in late March and filed suit in Kankakee County Circuit Court on April 2, alleging that the defendants violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Illinois Pollution Control Board rules. Madigan’s complaint seeks to recoup the state’s costs of overseeing the emergency response and cleanup activities under the Oil Spill Responders Liability Act.

The court set a status hearing on this matter for April 18.

Assistant Attorneys General Stephen Sylvester and Jamie Getz are handling the cases for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.

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