Climate Change Lawsuit Against ExxonMobil Proceeds

CLF alleges climate deception put communities in harm’s way

Exxon's Everett Facility

March 13, 2019 (BOSTON) – A Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) lawsuit against ExxonMobil will proceed after a federal court decision today rejected the corporation’s motion to have the case dismissed. The suit alleges that ongoing spills at ExxonMobil’s Everett Terminal and Exxon’s failure to address current and imminent climate risks at the facility – risks its own scientists have warned of for decades – are unlawful under the federal Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

“Exxon has put vulnerable communities and the harbor at risk as part of its pattern and practice of deceiving regulators and the public about the risks of climate change,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “Exxon has known about these risks and its ongoing spills for years and is failing its most important duty under the law: to avoid spills of oil and hazardous substances that threaten public health and the environment.”

Today’s hearing was the culmination of two days of arguments. Senior United States District Judge Mark L. Wolf ruled that most of CLF’s claims will be heard, including the ten counts that detail Exxon’s failure to address imminent risks from rising seas, extreme weather, and climate change, into account at the Everett terminal.

“Today’s decision brings us one step closer to safeguarding the families and businesses near the Mystic and Island End Rivers, protecting the public’s investment of billions for a clean Boston Harbor, and ensuring that Exxon is held accountable for years of risk-taking and law-breaking at the expense of public safety,” Campbell added.

A copy of CLF’s lawsuit can be found here. Claims 2, 3, and 6-15 will be moving forward, and more details about each of those begin on page 52 of the lawsuit.

CLF experts are available for further comment. You can view a story map that summarizes the issues surrounding the Everett facility here, and a short video about this case can be viewed here.