EXXON HIT BY NEW CLIMATE LAWSUIT

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29 september 2016

New type of #ExxonKnew lawsuit could open floodgates for more cases

By Andrew Freedman, Mashable, September 29, 2016

Exxon's climate change-related legal problems are growing by the day.

In addition to investigations by several state attorneys general and a separate inquiry on the part of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a new lawsuit filed in federal court on Thursday by a Massachusetts-based environmental group alleges the oil and gas giant has failed to take climate science research (including its own data) into account in operating an oil facility in the Boston area.

The suit, filed by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), is significant because it is the first to allege that a private company is violating the Clean Water Act and hazardous waste laws by failing to adequately prepare for climate change impacts such as sea level rise and stormwater runoff from increased instances of heavy rainfall events.

This case could also open the floodgates for more litigation against Exxon and the many other oil and gas companies that operate low-lying coastal facilities.

According to the suit — filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts — the Exxon facility in Everett, Massachusetts, just to the northwest of Boston, has a stormwater drainage system that is easily overrun during extreme precipitation events, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

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