On Monday an Ecuadorian judge ordered Chevron to pay $8.9 billion to clean up 16 billion gallons of toxic waste that Chevron dumped into the rain forest in Ecuador.
For many years Chevron has been pointing fingers at others and trying to manipulate its way out of the responsibility for the toxic mess but it all came to nothing when faced with overwhelming evidence that plaintiffs submitted to the court showing Chevron not only contaminated the rain forest but it did it knowingly.
Chevron built a substandard system and continued to use it knowing it’s leaking toxins into the ground. In a 1980 letter a Texaco official said that building a safer system would be too expensive and recommended using the faulty one. Chevron took that advice and continued putting toxic byproduct of oil drilling into 900 unlined and unprotected pits for many years.
The judgment is great news for the Ecuadorians suffering from the contamination and anyone who cares about the environment. It is time for a proper clean up of those toxic oil pits, not just throwing dirt on top of them like Chevron did.
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