Monday, May 04, 2009

Shell and railroads win ruling on cleanup costs

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The U. S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of the Shell Oil Co. and two railroads that claimed that they should not have to repay most of the $8 million that the government spent on environmental cleanup at a former chemical storage site.

The 8-1 high court ruling overturned a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling holding Shell, along with BNSF and Union Pacific, responsible for almost all of the cleanup costs, though the circuit court acknowledged that the involvement of the plaintiffs in the contamination had been relatively small.

Monday's ruling upheld that of a federal judge who found the railroads' share of the cleanup costs to be 9%.