Wednesday, Nov 25th

Last update06:48:40 AM GMT

You are here News Environment Oil firms may get secret cleanup payments

Oil firms may get secret cleanup payments

E-mail Print PDF

Double dipping oil company cleanupsA pioneer in cleaning up toxic messes, Thomas Schruben long suspected major oil companies of being paid twice for dealing with leaks from underground fuel storage tanks - once from government funds and again, secretly, from insurance companies.

Schruben, a detail-oriented Maryland environmental engineer who helped draft government pollution rules going back 30 years, looked for a lawyer to help ferret out what he believed could in some cases be fraud. He found a partner in Dennis Pantazis, a buoyant, mustachioed son of Greek immigrants in Alabama known for bringing environmental and civil rights cases.

"Together we started unraveling the mystery," Schruben said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Schruben's former employer, has called the rusted, leaky steel tanks the single largest threat to groundwater in the United States. Often built for gas stations during the 1950s and '60s highway construction boom, the tanks corroded over time, spilling gas and diesel with potentially cancer-causing chemicals under properties and into aquifers.

The two men assembled a team of lawyers, investigators and experts to search public records and case files for evidence and brought their findings to state governments, hoping to be hired as advisers or legal counsel. New Mexico paid more than $1 million in attorney fees after one $5.2 million settlement from Chevron last September.


Most Recent Related Stories...

2015 set to be hottest year on record, WMO says

hottest year on reconrd - 2015This year is shaping up to be the hottest on record, and 2016 could be even...

Prince Charles: Climate Change Root Cause of Syrian War

Syrian draughtEngland’s Prince Charles told Sky News in an exclusive interview that climate change was a root...

First EPA chief accuses Republicans of ignoring science for political gain

Willlliam RuckelshausThe man considered the father figure of environmental protection in the US has attacked Republicans for...

Half of all tree species in Amazon 'face extinction'

Amazon treesMore than half of all tree species in the Amazon face extinction, warn international scientists.According to...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!