Kanner & Whiteley, representing Conservation Law Foundation, has served formal notice of intent to commence a lawsuit against Shell for the company’s endangerment of the Providence River and local communities. The notice identifies Shell’s failures to take measures to guard against the known effects and risks of climate change at the Terminal as well as violations of its discharge permit.
Shell’s Providence Terminal stores toxic pollutants known to be harmful to humans and aquatic life. Because of its location along the banks of the Providence Harbor, an area affected by sea level rise, the Terminal sits directly in harm’s way as increased precipitation, increased magnitude and frequency of storm events, and increased magnitude and frequency of storm surges are becoming, and will continue to become, worse as a result of climate change.
Despite Shell’s knowledge and understanding of the increased risks related to climate change, it has failed to take action to protect local communities from discharges of oil and other hazardous pollution that would result from flooding and forceful storm events at the Terminal. This failure has contributed to an imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Further, the Terminal has repeatedly violated numerous terms of its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit in violation of the Clean Water Act, including prohibitions against unpermitted discharges, requirements related to its Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan, monitoring and reporting requirements, along with other requirements set forth in the permit.
The June 28, 2017 Notice Letter can be accessed here.