Saturday, October 01, 2016

Lawsuit Alleges Exxon Neglects Climate Risks at Massachusetts Oil Terminal

Conservation Law Foundation says company endangers communities along the Mystic River by leaving facility vulnerable to storms and rising seas.

ExxonMobil Everett Facility (Credit: Paul Horn / InsideClimate News) Click to Enlarge.
The Conservation Law Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against ExxonMobil, claiming the company has ignored the dangers of climate change and consequently endangered communities along the Mystic River in Massachusetts.

The threat stems from an oil transfer and storage plant operated by Exxon in Everett, Mass. that is vulnerable to vicious storms, sea level rise and storm surge, according to the 70-page lawsuit filed Thursday in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Storm surge at the Everett Terminal will flush hazardous chemicals, including benzene, toluene, and ethylbenzene, into the Mystic River and through the waterfronts of several communities along the river's banks, according to the lawsuit. The Mystic River flows seven miles from Lower Mystic Lake through a bay called Island End River and the communities of Arlington, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Chelsea, Charlestown and East Boston before emptying into Boston Harbor.
The facility is so vulnerable that even average rainstorms cause wastewater impoundments at the site to spill pollution to spill into the river, according to the lawsuit. And the effects of climate change will only exacerbate the problem, it said.

The lawsuit cites documents obtained by ICN for its investigative series, including an October 31, 1977 ExxonMobil interoffice memorandum. In it, Exxon acknowledged the rule of thumb that doubling the current level of CO2 from 330 ppm to about 700 ppm would cause a change of about 2ÂșC on average in temperature, and that the "CO2 the most important man-made weather problem that we have to contend with."

Read more at Lawsuit Alleges Exxon Neglects Climate Risks at Mass. Oil Terminal

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