Harmful Pollution from Chelsea Creek Oil Storage Facilities Puts Communities at Risk

CLF to sue Global Partners for Clean Water Act violations

Global Partners oil terminals

Photo: CLF

May 9, 2024 (BOSTON, MA)Two oil terminals in Chelsea and Revere run by Global Partners, Ltd., are unlawfully polluting the waters of Chelsea Creek with dangerous petroleum byproducts. Conservation Law Foundation has notified Global Partners that the organization intends to sue for these Clean Water Act violations.

Chelsea Creek is a landmark for residents of Chelsea, Revere, and East Boston, but it has been poisoned by industrial pollution from the fossil fuel industry for too long,” said Heather Govern, Vice President of CLF’s Clean Air and Water program. “Global has a responsibility to comply with the law and must take action to reduce these dangerous levels of pollution now.” 

CLF has found that Global is violating its 2022 Clean Water Act permit by releasing dangerous levels of pollutants, including cancer-causing petroleum byproducts, into Chelsea Creek. The creek has historically been popular among residents for catching big striped bass and other fish. However, because petroleum byproducts accumulate in fish and shellfish, the fish in Chelsea Creek are unsafe to eat. Studies have found this “bioconcentration” can be as much as 100,000 times more contamination than the surrounding river.

This lawsuit continues CLF’s advocacy to protect Chelsea Creek and the nearby Mystic River from pollution discharged from oil terminals and oil operations. In 2022, CLF collaborated with community partners to persuade the EPA to set stricter limits on how much Global can pollute. Late last year, ExxonMobil, under pressure from a CLF lawsuit, ceased operations of its Everett oil terminal and agreed to sell its aging facility.

CLF’s notice letter to Global Partners can be found here. 

CLF experts are available for further comment.