Court Clears Way for CLF’s Lawsuit Against Exxon to Go to Trial

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

ExxonMobil's oil storage terminal in Everett, Massachusetts, sits on the Mystic River. Storm surge there would flood nearby neighborhoods with dangerous chemicals. Photo: Alex MacLean

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay on CLF’s lawsuit against ExxonMobil for its failure to prepare its Everett coastal facilities for the impacts of climate change, clearing the way for the case to head to trial. The suit alleges that ongoing spills at ExxonMobil’s Everett Terminal and the company’s failure to address climate risks at the facility are unlawful under the federal Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The fossil fuel giant has come under increased scrutiny for participating in an extensive campaign to undermine climate science.

“It’s increasingly clear that Exxon’s days of climate deceit are finally coming to an end,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “Our case moving forward sends a strong message: It’s time for Big Oil to shelve its typical playbook of delay and neglect that has endangered our communities for too long. CLF will now have the opportunity in court to hold Exxon accountable for its decades of risk-taking and law-breaking at the expense of people’s health and safety.”

Exxon’s facility in Everett, Massachusetts, sits in a community that has been overburdened by industrial environmental harms. A copy of CLF’s lawsuit can be found here. A copy of the court’s decision can be found here.

CLF is also pursuing similar cases in Providence, Rhode Island; New Haven, Connecticut; and Quincy, Massachusetts.

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.