Exxon Additive Fouled New York Ground Water

August 4, 2009

(Bloomberg News)

Exxon Mobil Corp. used a gasoline additive it knew would poison groundwater, a lawyer told jurors at the start of a trial in which New York City seeks millions of dollars plus punitive damages from the biggest U.S. oil company.

The use of the chemical MTBE to reduce air pollution contaminated water in Queens, New York, adding to the cost of a water-treatment plant the city wants to build, an attorney for the city told a federal court jury today in opening statements.

“We will show you that Exxon and Mobil, before they merged, knew that MTBE would be a new and dangerous compound introduced into the nation’s groundwater,” Victor Sher, a lawyer for New York, told the jury.

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