Vermont reaches $3.8M MTBE settlement with oil companies
Source: https://www.wcax.com, March 15, 2019
The Vermont Attorney General’s office has reached a $3.8 million settlement in an environmental case against two dozen oil companies over the gasoline additive MTBE.
The additive was introduced in the 1970s as a way to reduce air pollution. But leaks of underground gas tanks caused contamination of private and public wells around the country. That included dozens of sites in Vermont, including high-profile cases in Killington, Clarendon, Hartland and Hinesburg.
Studies have linked MTBE to a variety of adverse health effects and it is a known animal carcinogen and a possible human carcinogen.
Vermont banned MTBE in 2007 and filed the lawsuits against BP, Shell, Exxon and other major companies in 2014. A Vermont Supreme Court ruling in 2016 found many of the state’s claims had timed-out under Vermont’s six-year statute of limitations.
As part of the settlement the state has reserved its right to pursue relief under Vermont’s environmental clean-up laws for any newly-discovered MTBE contamination, but all other future claims are released.