The office of the Illinois Attorney General announced that they have filed suit against a trucking company for a major fuel spill that allegedly contaminated a pond. The suit was filed by against Dewitt County’s H&M Trucking Co. by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on August 13. According to a press release from Madigan’s office regarding the lawsuit, “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 … 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 June 23, agents with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency observed an “oil slick” covering the pond. “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,” Madigan said. “H&M must clean up contamination of the site while the cause of the leak is investigated.” The lawsuit seeks to force H&M to immediately clean up the spilled fuel, to prevent future unreported spills, and to impose civil penalties on the trucking company. H&M has already hired an environmental consultant to deal with the fuel spill while the lawsuit proceeds through court.