Prosecutors Target Oil-spill Companies
JOLIET — The Will County Circuit Court on Wednesday approved a preliminary injunction requiring two pipeline
companies to mediate damage from a recent oil spill.
The action had been sought by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow.
The two companies, which are allegedly responsible for a Lockport oil spill last month, must identify and inspect water
supply mains, sanitary sewers and storm sewers, private wells and groundwater within a half mile of the leak, to assess the
impact of the oil leak and ensure cleanup.
On Dec. 23, Madigan and Glasgow filed a seven-count complaint alleging state environmental violations by Buckeye Pipe
Line Co. and West Shore Pipe Line Co. after a section of oil pipeline was found leaking crude oil Dec. 14 in Lockport.
Their lawsuit alleges that as a result of the oil spill, the pipeline companies endangered the public health and welfare,
violated water and air pollution laws and created a public nuisance.
In addition, the suit asks the court to require West Shore Pipe Line, the owner of the 12-inch pipeline, and operator Buckeye
Pipe Line, to pay all costs related to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s and Will County’s response to the leak.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a compliance order Dec. 16 after Buckeye was authorized to restart the
pipeline under greatly reduced pressure.
“Oil spilling from a ruptured pipeline jeopardizes public health and can cause significant harm to sensitive wetlands,”
Crude oil was found leaking from the pipeline near 13803 S. New Ave. after resident complaints about petroleum odors in
the area. Oil seeped from the pipeline into wetlands that flow into the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which ultimately flows
into the Des Plaines River.
A status hearing on the case is scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 10 in Will County Circuit Court.