EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

November 8, 2012

Sunoco, Shell to pay $35M in MtBE case

Trial set for January against five other companies


In January 2008, a new study came out, based on water samples taken by the U.S. Geological Survey. That study included public and private wells. The results were even more damning. It showed one of every two private wells tested in Rockingham County had some level of MtBE contamination.

After that study was published, then-Attorney General Kelly Ayotte promised to fight on. She is now one of the state’s two U.S. senators.

“This study illustrates the importance of pressing the state’s claims against those companies that added MtBE to our fuel supplies,” Ayotte said in 2008. “The damage resulting from their decision to use these defective products — MtBE and gasoline containing MtBE — persists and may well continue indefinitely. I intend to seek full recovery for the citizens of this state and full restoration of our precious water resources.”

And now it’s in the hands of Attorney General Michael Delaney.

“We must ensure that our public waters remain clean and safe for the benefit of all our citizens,” Delaney said yesterday in announcing the settlement with Shell and Sunoco. “My office will continue to hold oil companies responsible for their role in causing groundwater contamination in this state.”

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