Officials for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency continue to assess the damage done to the environment after nearly 8,000 gallons of gasoline on Wednesday leaked from the Shell gas station at the intersection of routes 64 and 47 in Lily Lake.
“Illinois EPA remains at the site and the investigation is continuing while immediate response actions are underway,” Kim Biggs, public information officer for the Illinois EPA, said in an email Thursday afternoon. “The extent of environmental impact is still being assessed.”
The agency also will be looking at whether Shell faces any possible violations. Shell representatives could not be reached for comment.
“A review of possible violations will be made as additional information becomes available,” Biggs said.
Kane County Undersheriff Patrick Gengler said on Thursday that eastbound Route 64 east of Route 47 will remain closed for several days while special equipment from a private contractor is on site to work on clean up.
At 3:22 a.m. Wednesday, the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District responded to the Shell station at 44W322 Illinois Route 64 in Lily Lake for the report of an outside odor of gasoline. Upon arrival, crews found a fueling center that has been under construction and a strong odor of gasoline coming from the tank storage area, Fire Chief Joe Cluchey said in a news release.
As crews continued to investigate, they noted gasoline mixed with the rainwater that was swiftly flowing across the property. Upon further investigation, It was determined that a significant amount of gasoline had already been released and was flowing beyond the station property.
Because of the gasoline vapors, the power was shut off to the service station as well as an adjacent property, Cluchey said.
He said a new fuel piping system has been under construction at the gas station for its seven fuel tanks.
“In preparation for their final inspection, the tanks were partially filled with gasoline and a portion of the tanks were still exposed,” Cluchey said. “It appears as though a heavy flow of rainwater runoff was filling the underground storage area and ‘floated’ three of the tanks. As the tanks raised to the area where they were partially covered by concrete – the pressure of the water and the concrete caused three of the tanks to rupture.”
It was later determined that nearly 8,000 gallons of gasoline had been released, he said.
Within 90 minutes on the scene, the fire district had notified the Kane County Office of Emergency Management, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to send representatives to the scene. The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Lily Lake village administrator were also called to the scene.
The agencies worked to determine the impacted wetland areas and prioritize the actions that needed to be taken to help contain the continued spread beyond the adjacent area, Cluchey said. The drone unit from the West Chicago Fire Protection District and the Kane County Department of Environmental and Water Resources worked with the Illinois EPA to identify the areas that needed emergency remediation to prevent the spread into the Ferson Creek headwaters, he said.