Cleanup continuing after Mokena oil pipeline leak
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY Sun-Times Mediaemail@example.com November 26, 2012 6:04PM
Updated: December 28, 2012 6:26AM
Clean-up continues at Mokena tank farm after 900 barrels of crude oil leaked from an underground pipeline last week.
Crews worked all week at Chicap Pipeline’s property, 18401 Wolf Road, and recovered 500 barrels by Monday, said Maggie Carson, spokeswoman for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Since then, the pipeline has been repaired and the contaminated soil will be removed and replaced.
“It appears all contamination is on their property. That is very good,” Carson said.
The IEPA will continue to monitor the clean-up, as well as the air, soil and water, and “make sure the recovery is complete,” she said.
With clay soil and dry weather, the clean-up was managed more easily, she said.
The pipeline is owned by Enbridge, but officials there could not be reached for comment.
The leak was discovered about 1 p.m. Nov. 20 after the Mokena Fire Department received calls about a gas odor south of Interstate 80, fire Chief Howard Stephens said.
The leak never posed any threats to residents, the chief said, but Will County Emergency Management Agency and Mokena’s Emergency Disaster Services Agency were notified.
There was a hole in a 20-inch transfer pipe from one tank to another, and oil was bubbling up through the ground, he said.
According to the company’s website, the Chicap Pipeline System transfers oil along 203 miles of 26-inch mainline from Patoka, to Manhattan/Mokena, and 12 miles of active 16-inch lines from Mokena to Lemont.
“We will continue to monitor the recovery, but there appears to be no concern,” Carson said. The IEPA will receive a report on what went wrong and how it will be prevented from recurring, she said.
“We have many miles of pipelines underground. We see a lot of leaks,” she said.
In September 2010, an Enbridge pipeline leaked for three days, spewing thousands of barrels worth of crude oil into sewage and drainage systems in Romeoville.
Six weeks earlier, a 30-inch Enbridge pipeline burst in Marshall Township, Mich., spilling more than 1 million gallons of oil over 35 miles of the Kalamazoo River, which flows into Lake Michigan. The company at the time estimated that incident would cost between $300 million and $400 million to clean up.