Communities at Risk 

Shell Oil is putting Providence and the iconic Narragansett Bay at risk by failing to prepare its Rhode Island oil storage terminal for climate change impacts that are here and worsening. The terminal sits directly in harm’s way as sea levels rise, rains get more intense, and storms grow more extreme.

CLF in Action

Shell is failing to accurately report what pollutants its oil storage terminal releases into the Providence River and neglecting to prepare its facility for climate change impacts. This violates the federal Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

These violations put Providence and Narragansett Bay directly in harm’s way from spills of oil, ethanol, and toxic chemicals used and stored at the terminal. Shell has long emphasized that the impacts of climate change are well-documented – and that they are only going to get worse. Providence is especially at risk from sea level rise and extreme storms. There is no excuse for Shell’s inaction.

CLF has taken Shell to court for violating the law and endangering the local community and Narragansett Bay. Our goal: to force Shell to clean up its pollution and protect our communities from climate change impacts.

What’s at Stake

Shell has failed to use good engineering practices in the design and operation of its facility’s wastewater treatment system. That means rain has caused – and will continue to cause – both untreated and undertreated discharges of dangerous pollutants into our waters. This failure puts the entire community at risk as well as the bay, including the recreation, commercial, and tourism industries it supports.

What’s more, the Shell facility is built on filled land at sea level. Located in the flood zone, the terminal is at extreme risk of being swamped by storm surge and tide from increasingly regular severe storms. Even one such incident at the terminal would change the bay forever.

Hurricanes Harvey and Katrina served as stark wake-up calls to the threat facing our communities from oil, gas, and chemical storage facilities. Harvey caused as many as 100 toxic chemical spills, polluting air and water and imposing health risks on residents. We cannot take a chance on a similar catastrophe happening here.