A few weeks ago, Art Mriscin began noticing a strange odor coming from his tap water. His girlfriend complained that clothes coming out of the washing machine smelled like burning oil. A light green film rose to the surface of a small fishing pond on his property.
None of it made sense to Art until another neighbor reported a strange odor in the air and called the fire department on December 2nd. The fire department called the owner of a petroleum pipeline, located near Art's property near New Douglas, Illinois.
Responders soon located a leak in the pipeline, buried underground. Apparently, not deep enough.
Early indications show the line was nicked by farming equipment. Art says the leak was located in an area, recently plowed by a neighbor's farmhand.
It's not clear if soil erosion exposed the pipeline to the equipment.
Buckeye Partners, based in Pennsylvania, owns the pipeline. Mike Norris, a Right-of-Way agent based in Indiana, says the line has been repaired and clean-up crews are digging out contaminated soil.
The low temperatures this week have slowed some of the work.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing the clean-up, which includes testing of soil and water samples. The EPA is not directly involved in the testing.
Buckye Partners says tests show Art Mriscin's tap water, which comes from a private well, is safe. Art said he stopped noticing the strange smell last week. His primary concern is that the company remediates the land and repairs any damage done during the clean-up work.
Norris told News 4 the company is taking responsibility for the clean-up and will work with landowners, affected by the leak.
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