Ill. AG files oil spill suit

Keith Loria Oct. 12, 2010, 11:00am


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Thursday that she has filed a suit against an energy company that allegedly violated environmental laws as a result of an oil spill from a 34-inch pipeline.

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow joined Madigan in filing the eight-count suit against Enbridge Energy LP following a September pipeline failure in Romeoville, Ill.

They requested a court order requiring that Enbridge identify and inspect water supply mains, sanitary sewers and storm sewers, private wells and groundwater within half a mile of the leak to better understand the impact of the spill.

The suit seeks to ensure area residents that they will be protected from potential health hazards from the crude oil that spilled into the ground near the pipeline and near two community water supply wells.

The suit alleges that, as a result of the oil spill, Enbridge has caused danger to the public health and welfare, violated water and air pollution laws, and created a public nuisance.

Madigan is seeking to ensure proper clean-up of all pollution, as well as proper testing of groundwater, soil and sediment to check for possible contamination, and remediation of the water and nearby area.

"Enbridge must be held accountable for all of the environmental and public health impacts of this oil spill," Madigan said. "Through this suit, we will ensure that Enbridge fully assesses and cleans up any pollution from the oil so that the residents of this area are protected."

The suit also asks the court to require Enbridge to pay all response and oversight costs related to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's response to the September 9 spill.

Oil was first seen leaking from the area around the pipeline near 719 Parkwood Ave. on September 9. It was leaking into a storm sewer catch basin and into a nearby unnamed creek. The water then flowed into a retention pond that ultimately flows into a tributary of the Des Plaines River, Madigan says

The court has scheduled a status hearing on the case in Will County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. on Nov. 10.

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