Attorney General Madigan Files Lawsuit for Oil Spill at Jasper County Oil Operation
Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed suit against an independent oil producer for allowing thousands of gallons of oil, saltwater and other oilfield waste to overflow into ditches and farmland at its Willow Hill unit in Jasper County earlier this month.
Capco Offshore of Texas, Inc. is named by Madigan in the lawsuit filed Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court for alleged water pollution and oil spill liability claims for the April 5 overflow of a concrete storage pit at the well site just south of Willow Hill. After a citizen complaint, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Mines and Minerals (IDNR/OMM) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) estimated at least 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, overflowed at the site near the Embarras River.
“Oil production in Illinois creates jobs and supports our local economy while helping to lessen our dependence on foreign energy sources, but exploration and production must be done in a way that does not endanger the environment,” said Madigan.
Representatives of the two agencies worked with Capco personnel and others to recover the spilled crude and other materials and to remove impounded wastes from the storage building in order to prevent further releases. Attorney General Madigan is asking the court to order Capco to refrain from further violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, to impose the statutory maximum civil penalty and to find Capco liable for damages and removal costs and order Capco to reimburse the IEPA and IDNR/OMM for their costs associated with the cleanup of the overflow at the Willow Hill Unit.
Bureau Chief Thomas Davis is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau in Springfield.