Exxon Released from 1989 Spill Damages


Published Oct 15, 2015 6:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. and Alaska said they will no longer seek the additional $92 million from Exxon to pay for environmental cleanup and restoration stemming from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

In court documents filed on Wednesday, the state of Alaska and U.S. Justice Department dropped their remaining judicial action and would no longer seek additional damages.

"Although we will not be pursuing Exxon for additional damages, our decision today does not close the book on lingering oil," Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards said in a statement.

The tanker spilled 260,000 barrels of crude in Prince Willam Sound. At the time it was the largest in U.S. waters and one of the worst environmental disasters caused by shipping.

In 1991 in a sweeping settlement, Exxon was ordered to pay $900 million in civil damages and $125 million in criminal fines and restitution.

In 2006, state and federal governments demanded that Exxon pay an additional $92 million under a special provision to fund cleanup from long-term damages. The company has refused to pay the fine maintaining that despite lingering oil, the recovery and cleanup was successful.