MADIGAN FILES SUIT OVER PIPELINE, TERMINAL SPILLS
Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a suit on March 6, 2007 against the owners of a petroleum pipeline and storage terminals in Illinois where leaks and spills have occurred over a period of several years.
According to Madigan’s suit, the most recent incident took place at the Macon County gasoline terminal owned by Buckeye Partners, L.P. and its subsidiary, Buckeye Pipe Line Holdings, L.P. The suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, names both companies as defendants. The companies own storage terminals in Harristown, Hartford and Chillicothe.
In June 2006, more than 140,000 gallons of gasoline were released during the time of day when operations at the Harristown Terminal were not supervised or monitored. During this time valves were reportedly opened at a loading rack, allowing gasoline to flow into a pipe that, according to Madigan’s suit, had not been properly capped and taken out of service. The spilled gasoline pooled in the containment area around several tanks at the terminal, seeped into the ground, contaminating the groundwater, and then moved through drainage tiles to a tributary of the Sangamon River. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) assisted local authorities in investigating the spill and cleanup. The IEPA referred the matter to Madigan’s office shortly after the spill was discovered.
“The release at Harristown presented a serious situation that required considerable time and expense by authorities to clean up, and to test private wells in the vicinity to ensure public safety,” Madigan said.
Madigan’s complaint also describes a release of several thousands of gallons of diesel in November 2005, when an above ground storage tank was being filled at Buckeye Partner’s Hartford Terminal in Madison County. The complaint also describes a November 2006 diesel release at Buckeye Partner’s Chillicothe terminal in Peoria County.
Additionally, the complaint identifies several gasoline spills that allegedly resulted from the deteriorated condition of some of the pipeline that Buckeye Partners acquired from previous owners.
These incidents include:
Madigan’s suit seeks a court order under the federal Oil Pollution Act and the Illinois Oil Spill Responders Liability Act requiring Buckeye Partners to reimburse the IEPA for costs it incurred and continues to incur for the cleanup of all of the releases. The complaint also alleges that the releases caused or threatened water pollution in violation of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act.Senior Assistant Attorney General James Morgan is handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.