CLF Brings Shell to Court for Neglect of Providence River, Community

Files lawsuit concerning company’s oil terminal

August 28, 2017 (PROVIDENCE, RI) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Shell for the company’s endangerment of the Providence River and local communities. Located along the banks of the Providence Harbor, Shell’s Providence Terminal sits directly in harm’s way as sea levels rise, rains become more intense, and storms become more extreme. CLF’s suit contends that Shell has failed to protect its Providence Terminal against the effects of climate change and has violated the conditions of its permit.

“This weekend, we saw thousands of homes destroyed, streets flooded and families displaced by Hurricane Harvey,” said CLF president Bradley Campbell. “We can’t wait around for the next natural disaster to inundate our communities. Shell’s facility sits on the banks of the Providence River, poised to spew toxic chemicals into our waters and our neighborhoods with no adequate safeguards in place. If the loss of life and damage from storms like Hurricane Harvey aren’t enough of a wake-up call, then legal action is needed to protect the public.”

J. Timmons Roberts, Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University and rower with the Narragansett Boat Club, commented, “I frequently row past the Shell Providence Terminal, and to the extent that there are pollutants spewing into that water, I am coming into direct contact with them on a regular basis. It is irresponsible that Shell has knowingly put the people of Rhode Island, students, and my own children in harm’s way, and I am proud to stand with CLF in righting this wrong.”

CLF’s lawsuit cites violations of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). A copy of the filing is available here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.