Illinois EPA director files enforcement action against Speedway LLC over gasoline leak
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is seeking an order from the state attorney general's office to require the owner of a Westmont gas station to investigate the cause and release of gasoline into a DuPage County sewer system.
Alec Messina, who is the director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, filed the enforcement action against Speedway LLC with the attorney general's office. The action was announced Oct. 23.
The gasoline, which leaked into the sanitary sewer systems, led to an explosion in Willowbrook. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is seeking an order that would require the company to immediately control additional gasoline, investigate the cause of the leak, remediate the contamination and continue air monitoring on the sewer line.
Speedway LLC is the owner as well as the operator of a Speedway gas station that in Westmont.
In the referral filed by Messina, the Illinois EPA cited violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act by Speedway LLC. The violations include the causing, threatening, or allowing of discharge of contaminants so as to cause or tend to cause air pollution, water pollution, and deposited contaminants upon the land, creating a water pollution hazard.
According to an Oct. 23 press release from the EPA, the agency was contacted on Oct. 19 by the Tri-State Fire department to report an odor that consisted of "nail polish remover and high Lower Explosive Limit (LEL)" in the lower garden apartments on Knoll Valley Drive in Willowbrook. It was then that it was reported that the odor reached as far as half of a mile into the sanitary sewer.
The next day, the Illinois EPA was contacted a second time by the Tri-State Fire Department, once again reporting the same odor as the night before and that the odor reached as far as half of a mile into the sanitary sewer.
The Illinois received a report later in the morning of an explosion on Knoll Wood Road in Willowbrook, the press release states. Once the Illinois EPA representatives responded to the incident, the local public works department had traced the source of the odor and eventual explosion to the Speedway gas station in Westmont.
The explosion caused one injury and multiple house fires, as well as 14 manhole covers being blown off due to the pressure built up in the sanitary sewers, the press release states.
The EPA reported the Speedway gas station reported that it began pumping their product tanks on Oct. 19 after becoming aware with a loss of product on Oct. 16. Since the time of the incident, the Speedway gas station has been isolated away from the sanitary sewers and was eventually shut down.
The Illinois EPA has requested an immediate injunctive relief from the attorney general. Representatives of the Illinois EPA are continuing to further monitor the situation, the release stated.