Midwest Generation Joliet Station, Des Plaines River Oil Spill

Joliet, IL - Region V


Site Contact:

Ramon Mendoza


1800 Channahon
Joliet, IL 60436

Latitude: 41.4796452
Longitude: -88.1457137
NRC#: 1032523, 1032602, 1032620, 1032656

On Dec. 6, 2012 at 4:23pm the Caterpillar Inc. Company (Caterpillar) reported an oil sheen on the Des Plaines River adjacent their property located at 2200 Channahon Road in Joliet IL (NRC 1032523).

The U.S. EPA OSC responded on the morning of Dec. 7 and observed an oil sheen plume upstream and downstream of Caterpillar on the Des Plaines River. The oil sheen was found to be accumulating at the Hollywood Casino (Casino) located at 777 Hollywood Blvd. about a 3/4 mile downstream. Casino representative reported the oil sheen to the NRC (# 1032602). The U.S. EPA OSC determined that sheen was recoverable and so ERRS and START were activated and mobilized to the incident by about 5:30pm.

At 6:30pm the U.S. EPA OSC was diverted to the Midwest Generation Joliet Power Station (1800 Channahon Road , upstream of Caterpillar and the Casino). Midwest Generation had reported an oil Spill of 1,400 gallons (NRC#s 1032620 and 1032656). Additional investigation by the U.S. EPA OSC found that Midwest was the most likely source of the oil discharges into the Des Plaines River. Midwest reported a failure in their turbine oil cooling system resulted in an oil spill into their dicharge channel into the Des Plaines River. The U.S. EPA OSC issued Midwest a Notice Violation under the Oil Pollution Act. U.S. EPA requested that Midwest hire cleanup contractors to cleanup the oil at the Casino and other locations on the River. Midwest cooperated and ordered their cleanup contractor (SET) to mobilize additional resources. As a result, the U.S. EPA OSC ordered his cleanup contractor (ERRS) to stand down. Cleanup of the Des Plaines River by Midwest Generation's contractors commenced on Dec. 8, 2012.

For additional information, visit the Pollution/Situation Report (Pol/Sitreps) section.