On August 28, 2017, Kanner & Whiteley, representing the Conservation Law Foundation, filed suit against the oil giant Shell and its related entities for its failure to take action to protect local communities from the risks its Providence Terminal poses. The suit follows issuance of a Notice of Intent on June 28, and seeks civil penalties as well as injunctive relief for violations of the Clean Water Act and the Terminal’s Permit, including failure to comply with reporting requirements, unauthorized discharges and failure to take action to protect local communities from the risks its Providence Terminal poses.
Depsite Shell’s extensive and historical knowledge of the continuing and increasing effects and dangers posed by climate change, the company has failed to take into account sea level rise, increased precipitation, or the frequency of storms in its storm water pollution prevention plan that is required by the Clean Water Act. Shell’s pollution control and emergency response plans do not account for the increased risks of discharges and have not followed best engineering and management practices as required by law. As outlined in the Notice of Intent, Shell has also violated RCRA. Those claims will be brought following the delay of the notice period.
This suit is similar to the one the firm filed with CLF in September 2016 against ExxonMobil Corp. for similarly endangering the communities in the Boston area by failing to safeguard its petroleum storage facility from rising seas. For more information on the Shell Complaint click here.