EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) – Shell Chemical and 27 other defendants have released a toxic plume of petroleum products that contaminated the Village of Hartford’s groundwater and sickened its residents, class action claims filed in Madison County Court. Gasoline vapors seeped into the basements and contaminated the town’s air, which has unsafe levels of benzene and other toxins, and Hartford residents have suffered from vapor-related respiratory illnesses and headaches, the suit states.
The Village of Hartford says the defendants are responsible for 4 million gallons of petroleum waste underneath the city and the underground plume has decreased property values.
Hartford claims gasoline found in groundwater originated from by leaking pipes that transport the petroleum from the defendants’ refinery to a terminal on the Mississippi River. The pipes leak about 360 barrels of petroleum every week underneath Hartford, the suit states.
Hartford demands damages and a cleanup.
Hartford, 15 miles north of St. Louis, is represented by Rene Bassett Butler of Wood River.