Texaco reaches agreement in Illinois

Keith Loria Jan. 24, 2011, 1:49pm


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Monday that her office has reached a $1.7 million settlement with the owners of a former refinery for allegedly damaging natural resources in the state.

Madigan was joined by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in resolving the natural resource damages case.

Texaco Inc., a former owner of the Indian refinery, allegedly released oil and hazardous substances into the environment at and near the 990-acre refinery while in control of it. Although the refinery closed down in 1995, cleanup activities have been ongoing since shortly before it halted operation.

Under terms of the agreement, Texaco is required to pay for ecosystem restoration projects to preserve waterways and enhance wildlife habitat on and near the former refinery south of Lawrenceville, Ill.

"This agreement makes way for critical restoration projects that help preserve our waterways and renew natural habitat," Madigan said.

The agreement also requires the company to provide funding for the IDNR and the IEPA to undertake ecological restoration activities, groundwater management assistance and pay for related expenses.

A consent order requires the transfer of approximately 2,300 acres of land south of the former refinery by Texaco to IDNR. The IDNR and the IEPA will then be responsible for restoring and enhancing the habitat on those tracts, which are located in the Embarras River watershed.

Once restored, the land is expected to provide a habitat for songbirds, marsh birds and migratory birds, as well as various other wetland-dependent animals.

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