Madigan sues Alsip chemical plant over explosion - New York News

Madigan sues Alsip chemical plant over explosion

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Friday asking a judge to order a review of what caused an explosion earlier this month at a South Suburban chemical factory that left two workers hurt.

Madigan filed the suit Friday at the request of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, seeking an injunction that would order Blue Island Phenol of Alsip to conduct an analysis of the blast and its environmental impact.

The suit also accuses the plant of multiple violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Ace.

The explosion at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 13 rocked the plant at 131st Street and South Homan Avenue, triggering a major emergency response from 40 area fire departments, the SouthtownStar reported at the time.

Two employees were burned in the explosion and fire, which destroyed a storage facility and damaged other buildings at the plant.

The explosion and fire followed a chemical release in the factory's cumene unit, which manufactures phenol and acetone. The process to produce the chemicals runs continuously, and the two reactors used to store the chemicals were not damaged, plant manager Bill Moffatt said after the explosion.

According to the suit, the explosion was caused by propane gas leaking from a ruptured pipe in the cumene unit to form a vapor cloud, which was then ignited by an unknown source.

Alsip Fire Chief Tom Styczynski said the day of the explosion that he did not believe the fire and resulting fumes posed any threat to nearby residents.

However, Madigan's suit states that about 5,165 gallons of propane and about 2,035 gallons of "cumene co-product"—a mixture of chemicals that includes benzene—were released into the environment surrounding the plant as a result of the blast.

The five-count suit states that the plant posed a sustainable danger to the environment, public health and welfare. It also accuses the plant of air pollution, creating a water pollution hazard and failure to minimize the release of hazardous substances.

The suit seeks an injunction that would find the plant guilty on all counts and require it to bring in an independent engineer to analyze the cause of the explosion and the environmental impact of the released chemicals on the surrounding area.

The injunction would also require the plant to cease all production in the cumene unit and reimburse the state for costs incurred by the emergency response to the blast.

In addition to the reimbursement, the suit is seeking $50,000 in damages for each violation of the Environmental Protection Act, as well as $10,000 for each day of violations.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Astorino blasts Cuomo over Moreland Commission

    Astorino blasts Cuomo over Moreland Commission

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:54:36 GMT
    In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a state panel to investigate public corruption, called the Moreland Commission. But the governor is accused of interfering with investigations and compromising the commission's work. Republican Astorino, who is running against Cuomo, claimed Cuomo didn't hand over evidence to State Police. Astorino wants a special prosecutor to find out if any state and federal laws were broken.
    In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a state panel to investigate public corruption, called the Moreland Commission. But the governor is accused of interfering with investigations and compromising the commission's work. Republican Astorino, who is running against Cuomo, claimed Cuomo didn't hand over evidence to State Police. Astorino wants a special prosecutor to find out if any state and federal laws were broken.
  • WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:08:14 GMT
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
  • NYC subway report card

    NYC subway report card

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:09:16 GMT
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices