The company is accused for not taking action against the potential impacts of climate change that would result in the release of toxic pollutants
The environmental advocacy group ‘Conservation Law Foundation’ (CLF) filed a 70-page lawsuit last Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Boston, accusing ExxonMobil for polluting the Mystic River while failing to plan for the potentially severe impacts of climate change at its Boston-area fuel storage terminal. According to the lawsuit, the company’s bulk storage and distribution terminal in Everett, Massachusetts, near Boston Harbor, continues to pollute the Island End and Mystic River in violation of the Clean Water Act and other federal laws by discharging toxic pollutants. CLF also claims that rising sea levels and extreme weather events could damage the facility and lead to further water pollution.
CLF had announced their intention to sue Exxon in May and moved forward after the company failed to take steps to address the alleged violations. To support their case, CLF offered flood maps drawn by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Apart from the lawsuit, Exxon is already under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a group of state attorneys generals for allegedly misleading its shareholders and the public about the effects of climate change.
The company denied the claims and promised to fight the suit in court. Exxon Mobil spokesman Todd Spitler said the lawsuit is ‘yet another attempt to use the courts to promote a political agenda. It is based on discredited and inaccurate claims by activists about Exxon Mobil’s nearly 40-year history of support for climate research that was conducted publicly in conjunction with the Department of Energy, academics and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. To suggest that we had reached definitive conclusions, decades before the world’s experts and while climate science was in an early stage of development, is not credible.’