The Village of Roxana filed a lawsuit this week against the owners of the ConocoPhillips Wood River Refinery, and others, over alleged pollution and unsafe operation of the facility over the past 25 years, but the owners say they plan to defend themselves. While the company says there were problems with past owners, it has done its best to be a good neighbor and maintain the highest degree of professionalism and integrity.
The suit was filed this week in Madison County Court against ConocoPhillps, Shell Oil Company, and WRB Refining claiming the companies are responsible for spilling millions of pounds of cancer-causing pollution over the village since 1988. The village is seeking a clean up of the material, mainly benzene, and the costs of litigation. The village claims in the suit that property values have declined during that time, impacting the tax base, along with the health concerns. A statement from ConocoPhillips says they are disappointed the suit targets operations under their watch, and they will vigorously defend the plant and the company. Other class action lawsuits have been filed against Shell and other companies over health concerns in connection with the alleged pollutants.