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John Badman|The Telegraph The current Valero refinery, formerly owned by Apex Oil Co., has rusty pipes as seen from Hawthorne Street in Hartford Wednesday where weeds are growing out of a broken and rusted pipe. John Badman|The Telegraph A truck passes down Hawthorne Street in Hartford Wednesday past the Valero Refinery, which was formerly owned by the Apex Oil Co. Apex agreed to a million settlement Wednesday from a suit brought by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.The money will be placed in a trust to help cleanup the large plume of gasoline floating on the water table under the east side of Hartford.“My office will continue our work to hold the current refinery owner accountable for its role in causing the environmental damage to the site and impacting the nearby Hartford community,” Madigan said.While Schmidt says the settlement with Apex is “a great thing,” she thinks it comes a little too late.The suit claimed contamination caused property values to go down, municipal services costs to go up and increased payroll related to overtime hours. She now lives in a small house on East Date Street on the northeast side of town.One Hartford resident, Marjorie Schmidt, 77, said she has seen ill effects from the refinery in the half-century she has lived in the village. “It was much worse when I first lived here,” Schmidt said. There are six empty homes on her block out of about a dozen. The attorney general said the settlement is an “important step” in making sure contaminated water and land in the area around where Schmidt lives is cleaned up.Residents of the small village along the Mississippi River have faced health hazards, safety risks and property loss because of contamination over decades.Pipeline leaks, for one, created an underground plume of gasoline and other petroleum byproducts under the northeast side of town.
In 2008, the village sued several oil refiners, including Premcor. One day when there was high humidity and it was cloudy, I swear there was almost a funnel cloud from the refinery on over to the levee.” Schmidt, who worked as a nurse in Alton for more than 40 years, said about a year ago she had to sell her first Hartford home in a short sale, meaning she sold it for less than was owed on the mortgage.Apex Oil Company owned and operated the oil refinery near Hartford from 1967 until 1988, when the current owner, Connecticut-based Premcor Refining Group, purchased the property and took over operations.Now, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Apex have agreed on a million settlement. 7, Apex was ordered to deposit million within 10 days into a trust fund established to pay for cleanup and remediation.It was acquired by Texas-based oil company Valero in 2005. For years, residents on the east side of town have complained of fumes and fires in their basements due to a large plume of gasoline floating on the water table under part of the town.Apex owned the refinery from 1967 to 1988 and the money will be used to help fund an environmental cleanup. refinery in Hartford, now operated as a Valero Refinery, is framed through a child’s tire swing Wednesday on Maple Street in Hartford after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that Apex will pay a million settlement for their part in the contamination of the water table in the small community.
Clark Oil and Refinery grew, and it began refining oil in 1943. Clark sold its brand name in 2000 and it became known as Premcor.