Attorney General Files Complaint Against Petco Petroleum

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Published on June 29 2013 1:34 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Illinois Attorney General's Office has filed a 61-count complaint with the Illinois Pollution Control Board for alleged water pollution violations at an area production site against Petco Petroleum Corporation.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan termed Petco "the worst polluter in the field of Illinois oil production."

Madigan's complaint alleges that Petco Petroleum repeatedly failed to maintain and upgrade its wells and drilling equipment to prevent spills onto the ground and into waterways. 

The complaint documents 61 counts of water pollution violations over the past four years due to recurring oil spills and salt water brine releases at the company's wells near St. Elmo.

Madigan's complaint seeks an order requiring the Indiana-based company to pay civil penalties that will deter future spills and to establish an effective plan of preventive maintenance.

Petco is authorized to operate some 1,200 oil wells and 400 injection wells by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Petco uses a production method that involves pumping large volumes of salt water into wells to extract crude oil from the ground.

Petco was found guilty of violating the Illinois Environmental Protection Act in Jefferson County in 1999, was served an enforcement action under the Illinois Oil and Gas Act in Sangamon County in 2005, and the Illinois Pollution Control Board imposed civil penalties in 2006.