Shimkus tours site of Plains Pump Station oil leak

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) toured the site of an oil breach at the Plains pumping station northeast of Highland, Illinois and reviewed the cleanup process on Friday.

During the tour, Shimkus took photos of the corrective processes in action, including the use of protective booms that have been deployed in order to prevent the flow of spilled crude oil from reaching Silver Lake and the adjacent water plant intake.

Officials have concluded that the leak, which occurred on July 10, does not pose a threat to drinking water supplies from Silver Lake.

During a hearing of with the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on July 14, Shimkus also noted that TransCanada, operators of the Keystone Pipeline, provided Highland with a spill response trailer, giving firefighters access to additional resources to combat the spill.

Shimkus asked Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Interim Director Stacy Cummings during the hearing for an explanation of how the criteria and benchmarks in PHMSA’s Corrective Action Order could provide the local community with some certainty regarding the pipeline’s future safety.

He also inquired about what actions Congress could take to help PHMSA collect data from states and localities about drinking water supplies to aid in future analysis, planning and responses.