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August 31, 2012

Illinois EPA Refers West Shore Pipeline to Attorney General for Enforcement
Agency alleges jet fuel release caused discharge into air, land and waters of the state

SPRINGFIELD—Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Interim Director John Kim has asked the Illinois Attorney General’s office to proceed with an enforcement action against West Shore Pipeline Company and Buckeye Pipe Line Co, for the release of jet fuel, also known as aviation kerosene, along a section of the company's pipeline system near Palos Park.  The fuel ultimately went into the Calumet-Saganashkee (Cal-Sag) Canal.

West Shore is a Delaware corporation and Buckeye is a Delaware limited partnership. The registered agent for both companies is the Illinois Corporation Service Co., Springfield, IL.

The incident occurred in the early morning of August 27, when an estimated 1000 barrels (approximately 42,000 gallons) of jet fuel was released onto nearby properties.  The point of origin of the release is north of Route 83, between Route 83 and the Cal Sag Canal.  Much of this fuel soaked into porous soils at the site, while additional fuel traveled down a creek, eventually flowing into the Cal Sag Canal. Since the release occurred near a residential area, there were also concerns about potential air pollution. This pipeline is believed to be the same pipeline that suffered a release in Lockport, Will County, in December 2010.  The pipeline is believed to be approximately 100 years old.

In the referral, the Agency requests the Attorney General require, among other things: a report detailing the proper disposal of contaminated soil and water; a proposed work plan for remediation of any residual contamination, including proposals to address the threat to groundwater and further migration to the Cal Sag Canal; records of inspection and maintenance of the section of the pipeline that failed for the last ten years; and reimbursement of all costs incurred by Illinois EPA in overseeing  response and remediation activities.

The Agency is requesting that the Attorney General act as its legal counsel in any further enforcement actions. The Illinois EPA will work closely with the Attorney General providing technical and other support to ensure the necessary remedies are undertaken.




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