Ill. biodiesel producer to clean up waterways after soy oil spill

By Ron Kotrba | April 30, 2014

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a court order April 25 requiring a Jasper County biodiesel production facility to implement new operating procedures and install equipment designed to prevent overflows of contaminating substances in response to a March 25 soybean oil spill at the facility in Newton, Ill., that polluted several nearby waterways. The court order also requires the company to remediate the affected waterways.

The order says the company, BN National Trail Biodiesel LLC, must shut off the detention basin’s gate valve on the north end unless a half-inch of precipitation occurs in a day. It must also must install an oil-absorbing boom that will guard against biodiesel spills. The plant produces up to 50 MMgy of biodiesel mostly from soybean oil.

The agreed interim order, filed in Jasper County Circuit Court, also calls for BN National Trail Biodiesel to produce a copy of its written spill notification procedures and its storm water pollution prevention plan and to apply to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) for the required permits overseeing industrial storm water discharges. In addition, the company must complete the cleanup of the waterways affected by the release of soybean oil from the facility by July 31.

“This order will ensure the company takes the necessary steps to clean up the polluted waterways and to prevent future overflows from contaminating the surrounding area,” Madigan said.

Jasper County Judge William R. Todd set a status hearing for Aug. 12 regarding the interim order. Madigan’s office also filed a five-count complaint against BN National Trail Biodiesel alleging water pollution, offensive conditions, and creating a water pollution hazard following the March 25 incident.

Biodiesel Magazine called BN National Trail Biodiesel for comment on the order, but no one was available to give a statement.

Assistant Attorneys General Evan McGinley and Nancy Tikalsky are handling the case for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.

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