CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Thursday that she has filed a lawsuit against an independent oil producer over an oil spill in Jasper County earlier this month.
The suit alleges that Capco Offshore of Texas Inc., allowed thousands of gallons of oil, saltwater and other oilfield waste to overflow into farmland and ditches at its Willow Hill unit on April 5.
"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," Madigan said.
The Illinois Department of National Resources' Office of Mines and Minerals and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have estimated that at least 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, overflowed at the site located near the Embarras River.
Representatives from the two agencies have worked with personnel from Capco in an effort to recover the spilled crude and other materials and to remove impounded wastes from a storage building to prevent further releases. The spill occurred after a concrete storage pit just south of Willow Hill overflowed.
Madigan has asked the court to order Capco to refrain from further violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, to find Capco liable for damages and removal costs, to impose the statutory maximum civil penalty and to reimburse the IEPA and IDNR/OMM for costs associated with the cleanup of the overflow.