Kanner & Whiteley, representing the Conservation Law Foundation, has today filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Exxon Mobil Corp. (ExxonMobil) for violations of federal environmental laws associated with operations at its Everett Terminal in Massachusetts. The Complaint, filed pursuant to the citizen suit provisions of the Resource Conservation Recovery Act and the Clean Water Act, follows notices of intent issued by K&W and CLF to ExxonMobil in 2016 and seeks declaratory and injunctive relief as well as penalties and costs of litigation. The July 8, 2016 Amended Notice can be accessed here.
Despite a broad corporate understanding of the certainty and the effects of climate change dating back decades, ExxonMobil has failed to take action to address imminent risks of increased flooding and greater storm tides or to protect local communities from the increased risk of oil and hazardous pollution discharges and spills at the Everett Terminal that are associated with the effects of climate change. Current models and flood maps demonstrate that if a hurricane were to hit the Boston area at high tide, most of ExxonMobil’s Everett Terminal would be flooded, washing toxic pollutants and hazardous chemicals into neighboring communities and the Island End and Mystic Rivers. ExxonMobil’s pollution control and emergency response plans do not account for the climate change impacts that ExxonMobil knows are occurring now and getting worse, leaving surrounding communities vulnerable to discharges of hazardous substances as sea levels rise and storms become more frequent and intense.
Further, ExxonMobil routinely discharges toxic pollutants into the Island End and Mystic Rivers in amounts that far exceed permitted levels and degrade water quality. Since 2011, there have been thousands of permit violations when ExxonMobil failed to operate its wastewater treatment system properly and poured hazardous and toxic pollutants, including human carcinogens, into the Island End and Mystic Rivers.