New Jersey announces $225M Exxon settlement; had sought $9B

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey announced a $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil on Thursday that state officials said is the largest environmental settlement against a corporate defendant in state history — though it has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers who say it is for a mere fraction of the nearly $9 billion initially sought.

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said the settlement over pollution at refinery sites in Linden and Bayonne is separate from Exxon Mobil's obligation to clean up the sites at its own expense.

April hearing set on ex-BP engineer's reversed conviction

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal prosecutors hoping to win reinstatement of an obstruction of justice conviction against a former BP engineer will argue their case next month at an appeals court in New Orleans.

Prosecutors accused Kurt Mix of deliberately deleting text messages about the amount of oil flowing from BP's Macondo well after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.


Oxy pays confidential sum to settle Peru pollution case

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Indigenous communities that sued Occidental Petroleum over contamination in Peru's northern Amazon have reached an out-of-court settlement in which the U.S.-based oil company will pay them an undisclosed sum.

The amount is confidential, under a settlement that was reached in 2013 in Los Angeles federal court but not announced until Thursday. The money is to fund community development projects.


Proposed Christie-Exxon Mobil contamination deal criticized

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers and environmentalists have assailed a proposed court settlement of about $250 million between Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration and Exxon Mobil in an oil and chemical contamination case in which the state originally sought nearly $9 billion.

The settlement figure, they argued this week, amounts to the state getting just 3 cents on the dollar even though Exxon's liability had already been established.


Washington state spill covers 50 birds in used motor oil

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. (AP) — Oil-spill responders on Tuesday are evaluating the impact to wildlife from a used motor oil leak into a river in an agricultural area of south-central Washington, as at least 50 ducks, geese and other waterfowl were observed covered in oil.

As much as 1,500 gallons of used motor oil stored in an above-ground tank leaked into irrigation canals and the Yakima River, said Joye Redfield-Wilder, a spokesman for the Department of Ecology based in Yakima.


Ohio sues BP for more than $33M in cleanup of storage tanks

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio is suing oil and gas company BP for more than $33 million, alleging it double dipped by taking state funds and money from insurers to clean up accidental leaks from underground storage tanks at hundreds of its gasoline stations around the state.

The state's attorney general and the Ohio Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Compensation Board filed the lawsuit Monday. The board administers a fund used as a last resort when tank owners lack coverage or don't accept insurance money.


Oil leak from Hilcorp pipeline in Alaska


The flow of oil has been shut to a Hilcorp Alaska pipeline that leaked over the weekend and authorities have recovered nearly 4,000 gallons of crude and fluids, although blizzard conditions provided an extra challenge to clean up crews, KTUU reports.


$250m or $8.9b? NJ reportedly settles decade-old suit with Exxon

The New York Times

After suing Exxon Mobil for $8.9 billion in damages for wetland contamination in northern New Jersey, the state has suddenly settled the case for $250 million shortly before a judge was expected to issue a ruling for damages, The New York Times reports.


Exxon appeals $1 million penalty for Yellowstone River spill

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. has asked federal regulators to reconsider a $1 million penalty imposed against the oil giant over a 63,000-gallon crude spill into Montana's Yellowstone River.

The Texas-based company asked the Department of Transportation to withdraw three of its four findings of pipeline safety violations. It also asked for the penalty amount to be reduced.


BP spill changed Gulf microbes: Study

Los Angeles Times

Microbes that help make nitrogen available to other life forms appeared to be one of the casualties from BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a study published this week in the ISME Journal, the Los Angeles Times reports.


Subscribe to Pollution