Description: Citizen suit alleging that Shell Oil violated the Clean Water Act by failing to prepare a bulk storage and fuel terminal in Providence, Rhode Island, for climate change impacts.
Conservation Law Foundation, Inc. v. Shell Oil Products US
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 08/28/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Conservation Law Foundation Filed Lawsuit Alleging Shell Violated Clean Water Act by Failing to Prepare Providence Fuel Terminal for Climate Change. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed a citizen suit against Shell Oil entities (Shell) alleging that they had failed to comply with the Clean Water Act and a Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit at their bulk storage and fuel terminal in Providence, Rhode Island (Providence Terminal). CLF alleged that the Providence Terminal was “at risk from coastal flooding caused by sea level rise, increased and/or more intense precipitation, increased magnitude and frequency of storm events, and increased magnitude and frequency of storm surges—all of which will become, and are becoming, worse as a result of climate change.” CLF also alleged that the terminal’s location, elevation, and lack of preventative infrastructure made it “especially vulnerable to these risks” and that Shell Oil had not taken action to address these vulnerabilities at Providence Terminal, despite having “long been well aware” of climate change’s impacts and risks and having incorporated such risks in “ongoing company investments,” including projects off the coast of Nova Scotia and in the North Sea. CLF asserted that Shell’s “knowing disregard of the imminent risks” of climate change and failure to fortify the Providence Terminal against such risks constituted violations of the Clean Water Act. CLF identified 19 separate causes of action for violation of the Clean Water Act and sought civil penalties, environmental restoration and compensatory mitigation to address past violations, and declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent future violations.