EPA, DNR Working with Coastal Energy on Pollution Dangers

Some of the asphalt tanks at the Willow Springs facility. (Provided)
Some of the asphalt tanks at the Willow Springs facility. (Provided)

(Willow Springs) – The US Environmental Protection Agency says a local company hasn’t done enough to protect a federally protected river from possible disastrous pollution.

Last week, the EPA announced that the Coastal Energy plant near Willow Springs has been the target of multiple inspections and inquiries from the state Department of Natural Resources and the EPA. The inspection reports from those groups claim that the companya��s spill prevention plans are inadequate, and that oil and other pollution spills could end up in the federally-protected Eleven Point River, which would damage the area ecosystem, the Eleven Point’s tributaries, and area wells.

The company is also accused of discharging storm water into the Eleven Point River without inspecting the water for pollutants.

Instead of taking action against Coastal, however, the EPA and DNR have offered to work with the company, according to a letter from the EPA. That work will include a number of changes for the Coastal plant, including building a better spill containment system, creating better emergency plans, and stopping the discharge of storm water into the Eleven Point River.

If the goals are not met within 60 days, the EPA could refer the issue to the US Department of Justice or file a formal complaint.

In a statement this past Friday, Coastal said it has been cooperating with the EPA and will continue to do so until the issues have been resolved.