Attorney General Seeks Preliminary Injunction to Ensure Company Performs Immediate Cleanup
Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—August 13, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in DeWitt County Circuit Court against H&M Trucking Co. (H&M), which specializes in transporting food products. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that approximately 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled at H&M’s trucking terminal located at 6287 Sky Rd. in Clinton, Ill., contaminating soil, a pond and a nearby creek.
According to the lawsuit, diesel fuel began leaking from a storage tank at the terminal beginning around June 30. The leak went unreported, and fuel soaked into the ground on and around the site, spreading into a large residential pond located approximately half of a mile south of the terminal. The fuel covered the entire surface of the pond and killed vegetation in a two-foot perimeter around the pond, prompting the property owner to contact state authorities. On July 23, investigators with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) observed an oil slick covering the pond and a tributary that emptied into Coon Creek.
Attorney General Madigan said, “Instead of immediately reporting the diesel fuel leak and containing the contamination, H&M allowed the fuel to spread, jeopardizing the environment and peoples’ health. H&M must clean up contamination of the site while the cause of the leak is investigated.”
When diesel fuel reaches a body of water, it almost immediately forms an oil slick on the water’s surface that is toxic to aquatic organisms and plants. Human exposure to diesel fumes can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea and more severe symptoms like heart palpitations.
Madigan also filed a motion for preliminary injunction requiring H&M to clean up the contaminated areas and prepare a report detailing the cause and extent of the diesel leak. H&M has hired an environmental consultant to help evaluate the contamination and oversee emergency cleanup while the litigation is ongoing. Madigan’s lawsuit seeks to prevent future unreported spills as well as impose civil penalties.