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Serial Pipeline Spillers Spewed 4,200 Gallons Of Crude Oil In Illinois

By JoshMogerman in News on Jul 13, 2015 5:35PM

Pipeline Pump Station. Photo: Shannon Ramos

A pipeline company already in hot water for mucking the Pacific Ocean in a 100,000 gallon oil spill near Santa Barbara, California in May has now admitted to making a mess of downstate Illinois.

Last week the Plains All-American Pipeline Company acknowledged that a pump station for its Capwood Pipeline had spewed 4,200 gallons of crude near the border of Bond and Madison Counties downstate. Oil has reached Silver Creek, a tributary to Silver Lake the source of drinking water for Highland, Illinois, not far from St. Louis. As of Saturday, the town’s water was safe as a crew of 100 labored to contain and clean the spill.

LAist was all over the Santa Barbara spill and the toll it took on wildlife in the area, including a sea lion that died while under oil spill-related treatment at Sea World.

The Great Lakes region is no stranger to pipeline messes, with the Kalamazoo River tar sands spill fifth anniversary approaching in Michigan (and oil still in the river). Closer to home, Illinois is riddled with aging oil pipelines, which took a significant toll last year according to the Belleville News-Democrat:

Last year, Illinois reported $17 million in property damages from pipeline incidents, according to the federal Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The Plains All-American spill downstate will underscore concerns about lax pipeline safety, poor monitoring and threats to water resources that are already fueling a significant pushback on pipeline projects around the region. We will keep tabs on the cleanup and fallout.