May 29, 2012 / 11:51 PM / 7 years ago

Illinois sues Wood River, alleging water pollution

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued current and past owners of Phillips 66’s Wood River, Illinois, refinery on Tuesday, alleging the ground water in the nearby town of Roxana, Illinois, was contaminated by the plant.

A spokesman for Phillips, which operates the 356,000 barrel-per-day refinery with Cenovus Energy Inc in a joint venture called WRB Refining LP, said the lawsuit appeared to be concerned with the clean-up of the refinery site by previous owner Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Madigan said current and past owners had to be held accountable for the allowing oil, gasoline and hazardous wastes to leak into Roxana, Illinois’ groundwater.

“This lawsuit seeks a complete assessment and a plan to restore the quality of the groundwater and subsurface to pre-contamination conditions and to protect the people living in Roxana,” she said in a statement.

A Shell spokeswoman said the company would not comment on the lawsuit, but that Shell has been working with Illinois environmental and public health agencies to assess possible contamination beneath Roxana “and address historic subsurface impacts.”

Companies found responsible for pollution in violation of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act could received maximum civil penalties of $50,000 per violation and $10,000 per each day the violation occurred, Madigan said.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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