U.S. Supreme Court Declines Exxon Mobil Appeal

Posted by Michelle Howard
Monday, April 21, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a ruling against Exxon Mobil Corp that ordered the company to pay $105 million in damages for polluting New York City's groundwater with a toxic gasoline additive.

The decision not to hear the case leaves intact a July 2 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the judgment.

In 2009, a jury concluded that Exxon contaminated water supply wells when the additive, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), leaked from its underground storage tanks in the borough of Queens.

The appeals court rejected Exxon's arguments that it was required to use the additive under the federal Clean Air Act. An oxygen-containing substance that is added to gasoline to promote more complete combustion and reduce air pollution, MTBE was one of several additives recommended by regulators to reduce emissions.

It has now largely been phased out of the U.S. fuel supply because of its danger to groundwater.

New York City claimed Exxon went ahead and used the chemical in the 1980s through the first half of the 2000s despite warnings from its own scientists and engineers that it could be harmful in areas that relied on groundwater for drinking.

MTBE has been identified as an animal carcinogen and a possible human carcinogen and causes water to smell foul and taste bad.


The water wells in southeast Queens that were contaminated serve as a backup supply for the city's drinking water when the reservoirs upstate go offline because of repairs or droughts.

The New York case was intended serve as a bellwether case to provide guidance for other MTBE complaints that have been brought around the country.


The case is Exxon Mobil v. City of New York, U.S. Supreme Court, 13-842.

By Lawrence Hurley

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Will Dunham)

Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Former Shipping Execs Indicted on Price-fixing

Three former executives of ocean freight shipping firms have been indicted for participating in a long-running price-fixing conspiracy, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

Vigilance Still Crucial in Indian Ocean

Organisations representing the global shipping and oil industry have announced that the size of the ‘High Risk Area’ for piracy in the Indian Ocean has been

USS Fort Worth Completes CARAT Exercise with Bangladesh Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) completed its first Cooperation Afloat Readiness And Training (CARAT) exercise with Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal, Oct.


Collision Course with a Hurricane: How Doomed US Ship Met its End

The ill-fated U.S.-flagged El Faro cargo ship sunk by Hurricane Joaquin was sailing at near full speed into the center of the storm before it lost propulsion amid mountainous waves and brutal winds,

Oil Spill Statfjord North Sea Field - Statoil

Loading of tankers suspended, unclear when it will resume. Oil spilled into the North Sea during the loading of a tanker at Norway's Statfjord field on Thursday, operator Statoil said.

MOL Undertakes CMAXS e-GICSX Test on MAYARO

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced that it has started a demonstration test of a next-generation condition-based engine monitoring system called “CMAXS


Urals Weakens Further in Baltic

Russian Urals crude differentials continued to slide in the Baltic on Thursday amid a flurry of activity with softer refining margins, pushed down by higher oil prices, still keeping buyers at bay.

Seadrill Hopes to See Market Turn in 2017

Offshore rig driller Seadrill is facing another two years in the doldrums but hopes the international rig market could turn around in 2017.   Rig rates have more

Eni Arctic Service Rig Extension Okayed

Italian oil company Eni has received permission from Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority to extend the use of a service rig on its troubled Arctic Goliat oil field offshore Norway until Nov.

Fuels & Lubes

Saudi Shipping Firm Bahri Posts Big Jump in Q3 Profit

National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), the exclusive oil-shipper for Saudi Aramco, reported a significant hike in third-quarter net profit on Thursday.

Boskalis’ Fleet May Switch to Marine Biofuels

Boskalis today announced their collaboration with GoodFuels and Wärtsilä in a two-year pilot program to accelerate the development of truly sustainable, scalable and affordable marine bio-fuels.

India Extends Tax Benefits on Bunker Fuel

India has extended the benefit of nil custom and production tax on bunker fuels to domestic coastal movement of containers, in a move to decongest its roads and reduce carbon emissions,

Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1430 sec (7 req/sec)