Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan have teamed up to take on corporate giant ExxonMobil in the wake of its Channahon Township plant sparying oil all over the place.
“ExxonMobil must accept full responsibility for the harm this oily mist caused our environment as well as the farms, houses, vehicles, streets and other personal and public property in our surrounding communities,” Glasgow said in a statement released Wednesday.
“The preliminary injunction we seek in cooperation with Attorney General Madigan ensures that this incident will be thoroughly investigated and that ExxonMobil will clean up damaged properties and natural resources,” he said.
Glasgow and Madigan filed a four-count complaint and sought a preliminary injunction against the ExxonMobil Oil Corporation.
The complaint accuses the corporate behemoth of committing environmental violations due to operational errors at the Channahon Township refinery.
These alleged operational errors led to a burst of oil mist floating down on the surrounding area Oct. 12. Sheriff's deputies shut down a seven-mile stretch of Arsenal road due to the thoroughfare getting exceptionally slippery, and residents complained of their property getting oily.
According to the statement released Wednesday, the injunction is looking for ExxonMobil to:
- Complete an investigation within seven days to determine the cause of the release and report its findings to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency,
- Submit a detailed work schedule for necessary improvements,
- Report all pollutants and quantities involved in the incident,
- Collect water samples in Jackson Creek and soil samples along Arsenal Road to be analyzed,
- Identify residents, landowners and local government agencies it communicated with following the release,
- Provide equipment maintenance and inspection reports for the pressure safety valves involved in the release, and
- Provide a detailed explanation of the procedures used to re-start the coker unit following the October 19 release.
“We’re seeking a comprehensive investigation of the cause of the oil release and development of a thorough cleanup plan to ensure that ExxonMobil is held accountable for the environmental impact caused by its refinery’s release of oil into the air and land,” Madigan said.
The case will be up for a status hearing Friday morning.