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Shell Oil Co. v. United States

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20081
Nos. No. 06-141, (Fed. Cl., 03/31/2009)

The Court of Federal Claims awarded $84 million to four oil companies for costs they incurred cleaning up waste stemming from the production of aviation gasoline during World War II under contracts with the U.S. government. The government argued that the oil companies are not entitled to recover all of the costs they incurred cleaning up the site. It argued that some of the costs were not incurred “by reason of” the production of avgas because some of the acid sludge arising originally from the production of avgas could have been reused or resold. But the government's own admissions and stipulations establish that the oil companies had no viable options for dealing with the massive quantities of spent alkylation acid generated by avgas production that did not involve dumping. Given the court's previous liability ruling, various government stipulations, and district court findings, the oil companies are entitled to the full amount of cleanup costs, plus interest, for a total of $84,536,763.65.

[Prior decisions in this litigation can be found at 22 ELR 20791, 24 ELR 20877, 29 ELR 20027, 32 ELR 20468, and 32 ELR 20783.]