CLF Settles Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against Exxon

Company sells Everett tank farm

An aerial view of Exxon's tank farm in Everett, MA showing white fuel storage tanks near the waters of Boston Harbor

Exxon's Everett, MA terminal. Photo: Alex Maclean

December 5, 2023 (BOSTON, MA) Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and ExxonMobil have settled a CLF lawsuit arising from the company’s operation of its Everett oil terminal, in a manner that protects the community as well as the environment surrounding the terminal from toxic threats amplified by climate change. The settlement follows court denial of ExxonMobil’s repeated efforts to dismiss the lawsuit.  As pretrial discovery was about to start, ExxonMobil notified the court of its decision to cease all operations at the facility and the parties thereafter entered settlement discussions.  

“We welcome ExxonMobil’s decision to resolve this litigation, make the facility closure permanent, and market the site for cleaner and safer uses,” said CLF President Brad Campbell. In settling the case, CLF has obtained an enforceable prohibition on the property ever being used for polluting bulk fossil fuel storage. 

“Closure of the facility will protect the community and eliminate a major pollution threat to Boston Harbor and its tributaries,” Campbell added “Forever prohibiting a similar facility on the site further reduces fossil fuel’s chokehold on Everett and the broader region’s energy system, landscape, and economy.”  

“This resolution should put operators of similar climate-vulnerable facilities on notice that they cannot turn a blind eye to extreme weather dangers driven by climate change – dangers that their scientists and senior leaders have recognized for decades even as the industry spent billions to undermine climate science and deceive the public,” Campbell said. “CLF will remain vigilant to ensure that this now-former ExxonMobil site is made safe for Everett, while continuing our campaign to stop unlawful operation of similar facilities threatening communities from Maine to Connecticut and beyond.”  

CLF experts are available for further comment.