Lawsuit Filed Over Romeoville Oil Spill

Suit alleges state environmental violations by pipeline owner Enbridge Energy Partners

The Illinois attorney general and the Will County state's attorney are suing a Canadian oil company over a pipeline leak that sent crude oil bubbling to the surface at a Chicago-area industrial park.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State's Attorney James Glasgow filed the eight-count suit Thursday in Will County, which alleges state environmental violations by pipeline owner Enbridge Energy Partners.

The court has ordered Enbridge to inspect private wells, groundwater and water supply mains within half a mile of the leak.

"Enbridge must be held accountable for all of the environmental and public health impacts of this oil spill," Madigan said in a written statement.  "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."

In his remarks, Glasgow referenced the catastrophic breach of a Hungarian factory's retention pond that has sent toxic red sludge toward the Danube River.

"We can't allow that to happen in the United States of America," he said.

The spill was discovered Sept. 9 in an industrial park in Romeoville.  Crude oil from Enbridge’s pipeline was leaking into a storm sewer catch basin and into a nearby unnamed creek. The water then flowed into a retention pond which ultimately flows into a tributary of the Des Plaines River.

Enbridge's responded to the lawsuit in a statement, saying:

A hearing in the case has been set for Nov. 10.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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