Jury Awards Atwater $63 Million In Groundwater Pollution Suit Against Oil Giant Shell

A jury has ordered Shell Oil Company to pay the City of Atwater a total of $63 million in damages in a groundwater pollution suit.

The decision, reached Friday after a four-month trial in Merced County Superior Court, awarded Atwater $53 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, according to a news release from the city.

The lawsuit stemmed from the highly toxic chemical 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP), which can pose a risk to public health and can contaminate drinking water.

OPINION: State’s Water Grab Includes Stunning Groundwater Restrictions

The State Water Resources Control Board will vote Wednesday on a proposal to send more of our river water out to the Delta – a move that would decimate the Central Valley’s economy, water quality and quality of life. The water board claims this is to save some fish. But many believe there are ulterior motives. In October 2016, water board staff spoke to the Merced board of supervisors for the first time about the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Update and its impacts on our disadvantaged communities. This plan will send significant amounts of surface water – up to 50 percent of unimpaired flows – out into the ocean from the Merced, Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers.