Oil in the Air Shuts Down 7-Mile Stretch of Arsenal Road—Update

An oily substance discharged from the ExxonMobil plant in Channahon has forced the closure of Arsenal Road.

Sheriff's deputies shut down a seven-mile stretch of Arsenal Road after an oily substance escaped into the air from the Channahon ExxonMobil plant Friday morning.

Arsenal Road was closed from Interstate 55 east to Baseline Road and will stay closed for the remainder of the day, according to the Will County Sheriff's Department.

The leak was cut off but the cleanup was continuing Friday afternoon.

Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas of the sheriff's department said the substance is not hazardous but recommended washing cars exposed to it.

"You don't want to drive through this stuff," said Kaupas, who identified the substance as "oil or diesel."

The sheriff's department advised citizens to submit car wash receipts to ExxonMobil for reimbursement.

Police officers from various agencies, as well as emergency management personnel and workers from ExxonMobil, responded to the incident, the sheriff's department said.

The sheriff's department said the company is setting up a hotline for citizens who have incurred costs for clean-up.

ExxonMobil spokeswoman Claire Hassett released a statement about the incident just before 3 p.m.

"The ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery in Channahon experienced a release of hydrocarbon through a safety release system on one of its process units this morning," Hassett said in an email. "ExxonMobil immediately deployed industrial hygienists to monitor the area and no health impacts have been identified. We are cooperating with the Will County Sheriff’s Department to ensure safe travel through the vicinity. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. There were no injuries, and refinery production has not been impacted."

lala October 19, 2012 at 08:56 PM
It could be smelled as far away as New Lenox this morning. From the internet: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_hazards_of_hydrocarbons If a hydrocarbon burns in a plentiful suppply of oxygen it will produce carbon dioxide and water, which is fine. However, if it does not burn in a plentiful supply of oxygen, it will produce carbon monoxide, which is poisonous to humans. In addition, the lower hydrocarbons are very highly flammable and can be explosive, and many are toxic and can be absorbed through the skin or lungs.
Agrippina Minor October 20, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Maybe someone other than an Exxon employee should be dispatched to determine if the substance is hazardous. When will we learn to stop trusting these corporations?
sherman martin October 26, 2012 at 11:52 PM
I agree with Agrippina Minor. I was in the location where the was block off. down the street in a USAR army reserve building. around 10:30 am everyone in the building being to get this strong smell in the building. two of the womens in the building are precancy, they both got sick from the smell. We went outside to see where the smell was coming from. At which time we saw all the oil drips, on our cars and on the pave roads behind the building. We was under sure what happen. Then someone from exxon company came up in truck offerd everyone in the building to get there cars wash free. the company has not offered any health evalutation concerning the person health. Cars can always be replace! I look at it like this 3-5 years down the road a soldiers health turns bad. Know one will remember this incident. I ask the Exxon representative who came out to discuse the issues, and how they would support what happen. the question was ask? when will their report be completed, so we can request a copy. The company sims to think the facility manager speaks for everyone. The company received each person information. which was home address make of car fill name. i'm not sure why they think the facility manger speak for everyone in the building. Each soldiers should be speaking for themselve. I'm with a Lawer. I 'm not buy in to anything! May God Bless the rest of the soldiers.
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