CLF Climate Lawsuit Against Shell Moves Forward

Terminal threatens to release toxic chemicals into Narragansett Bay

Google image of the Shell Providence Terminal

July 23, 2019 (PROVIDENCE, RI) – A judge ruled today that Conservation Law Foundation’s (CLF) lawsuit against Shell will move forward. The lawsuit alleges that Shell’s Providence Terminal is in violation of the federal Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and is endangering the Providence River and local community as a result.

“The Shell terminal in Providence is poised for disaster,” said Chris Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “It will take only one significant storm to inundate this facility and release toxic chemicals into surrounding waters and neighborhoods. Shell has failed to protect this terminal from the well-known impacts of climate change, and we will continue our fight to protect the community.”

In the order today, Chief Judge Smith allowed CLF to add another hazardous waste claim to the pending lawsuit by rejecting Shell’s argument that it was not fairly notified of the violation. Further proceedings on the case will be scheduled soon.

CLF’s lawsuit contends that Shell’s failure to protect its Providence Terminal against the effects of climate change violates the conditions of its Clean Water Act permit and the hazardous waste law. Located at the head of Narragansett Bay, the terminal sits directly in harm’s way as sea levels rise and storms become more extreme.

The Shell case is the latest in CLF’s ongoing fight to hold large polluters accountable for their negative impacts on our environment. In a similar case, CLF is taking ExxonMobil to court for the company’s failure to protect its Everett, MA facility from the risks of climate change.

CLF experts are available for further comment.