ExxonMobil to Pay Millions for New Hampshire Water Contamination

After a New Hampshire court ruling stated that ExxonMobil supplied over 2 billion gallons of MTBE gasoline that resulted in contaminating the state’s drinking water and causing $816 million in damages. As a result, ExxonMobil has been fined more than $236 million.

In 2003, New Hampshire sued 26 oil companies because they had supplied gasoline with the MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) additive to the state, which resulted in a widespread contamination of drinking water. The state reached a verdict with all companies, except ExxonMobil, and collected over $130 million for MTBE cleanup.

The state decided to sue ExxonMobil separately for its role in the contamination since the company supplied more than 2.7 billion gallons of MTBE gas, making up 1/3 of the state’s entire gasoline market.

On Jan. 14, 2013, the trial against New Hampshire and ExxonMobil began. After three months, the jury finally rules that the company was responsible for causing $816 million in damages across the state because of drinking water contamination. The court also ruled that ExxonMobil will be paying $236,372,664.00 in fines for the incident.

MTBE is classified as a “possible human carcinogen” by the EPA and was banned in New Hampshire in 2007. In the trial, it was discovered that even ExxonMobil’s own environmental experts had advises the company against using the additive because it makes the gasoline more resistant to biodegradation and travels farther in groundwater,  which greatly increases the changes for contaminating large amounts of water.

As a result of the MTBE gasoline being supplied to the state, experts estimate that more than 40,000 drinking water wells are contaminated and nearly 6,000 additional wells contain more MTBE than the state’s standard. There are also 228 high risk sites of MTBE-contaminated soil and groundwater across the state that are awaiting cleanup.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022

    Featuring:

    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
    • HEAT STRESS
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
    • EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
    • PPE FOR WOMEN
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue