Williams Pipeline Company (Williams) owns and operated transmission pipelines that carry refined petroleum products through rural areas of Logan County. Sometime in early 1997, Williams had a leak of 10,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel oil located two miles south of Broadwell, Illinois. The release was discovered on March 27, 1997, and was identified by observance of a petroleum sheen on the surface of the small tributary to Salt Creek. The release was believed to have originated from external corrosion of a 67 year old section of the pipeline. The release adversely impacted the soil, groundwater and the unnamed tributary of Salt Creek. Approximately 21 acres of floodplain habitat were also affected, some of which were enrolled in the IDNR's Illinois Acres for Wildlife Program.
The Illinois Natural Resource Trustees completed a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). Due to NRDA action taken by the IAG, IEPA, and IDNR, Williams agreed to compensate the public for interim losses resulting from the release of gasoline, diesel oil, and related hazardous substances. The matter was settled in November of 2002.
The Illinois Natural Resource Trustees proposed two in-stream restoration projects and two wetland restoration to compensate for injuries caused by Williams. Two final restoration plans (Phase I and Phase II) were drafted and funds were allocated to implement the restoration projects. Phase I activities included wetland enhancement, bank and log jam protection, boulder placement along Sugar Creek at the Sandra Miller Bellrose Nature Preserve (dedicated as a Nature Preserve in 2000). Phase II activities (near the injury) consisted of the installation of rock riffle grade control structures. Biological monitoring of the projects are ongoing. A report summarizing the monitoring activities and results will be made available in the future.