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ExxonMobil Corporation Hazardous Waste Settlement

U.S. EPA announced the settlement of one of the largest hazardous wastes cases in history with the filing of a consent decree on December 13, 2001 of a case filed against Mobil Oil Corporation. The case alleged mismanagement of benzene-contaminated waste at Port Mobil, a major petroleum storage and distribution terminal on Authur Kill at Staten Island, New York. Benzene, a known human carcinogen, became a regulated hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1990.

The RCRA enforcement case against Mobil was scheduled for court trial with EPA seeking penalties under RCRA for treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous wastes without a permit. The settlement was reached with ExxonMobil Corporation as a result of the 1999 merger of Mobil and Exxon.

The settlement requires at total payment by ExxonMobil of $11.2 million. Included is the payment of penalty in the amount of $8.2 million (one of the largest obtained pursuant to RCRA), payment of $3 million to purchase or restore environmentally sensitive lands in New York City along the Arthur Kill waterway, and injunctions that require cleanup at Port Mobil, compliance with the hazardous waste law and regulations raised by the case, and a barring from arguing that hazardous waste laws to not apply to individual disposal events but rather only apply if long-term averaging of multiple events demonstrates the existence of toxic levels of waste.

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