Shell Oil Faces Environmental Lawsuit in Illinois
Residents near Roaxana’s Oil Refinery in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against former refinery owner Shell Oil Co., claiming the major company is responsible for multiple oil leaks and spills over the years. The suit claims that the oil spills have led to serious contamination of the environment, including water and soil surrounding the refinery. The suit also claims the company is responsible for benzene contamination, which the plaintiffs claim has caused cancer in those who live and work near the refinery. Reportedly, a known benzene release occurred in 1986, and action was never taken to purify ground water potentially affected by the carcinogenic gas.
The county is asking for two counts of $50,000 for known spills, and a penalty of up to $10,000 for each day the company fails to comply with clean-up regulations. In addition, multiple personal injury suits are expected from area residents who claim they have suffered adverse effects from living with the resulting contamination in the community near the refinery. Shell may also be held liable for the cost of removing any present contaminates from the area’s ground water. Shell Oil has thus far declined to comment on the lawsuit.