Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) president Bradley Campbell announced a major lawsuit against ExxonMobil for its decades-long climate deceit on May 17th. This is the first lawsuit against ExxonMobil since revelations last September that the corporation has engaged in a deliberate cover-up of sound climate science for over thirty years. The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) and Chelsea Green Space joined Campbell at the press conference.
MyRWA's Executive Director EkOngKar Singh Khalsa gave the following comments:
The Mystic is a great river, a river of history. Mystic River communities are among the most diverse and densely developed in the Commonwealth and for the past forty years many people and many organizations including the Mystic River Watershed Association have fought to restore the river to good health.
As a result, it is very disappointing to learn that ExxonMobil is violating its own Federal permit and regularly discharging pollution to the Mystic River. It is very disheartening to learn that ExxonMobil has done nothing at its Everett facility to protect the community from climate change impacts which it has apparently known are coming for quite some time.
In the Mystic right now, one of New England’s largest migrations of river herring is underway. Hundreds of thousands of fish will pass up the Mystic River and through the Mystic Lakes dam to spawn in Upper Mystic Lake. This wonderful natural phenomena, which has continued without break for the last ten thousand years, needs to be protected. This river is a living system visited by striped bass and harbor seals - where wildlife seeks refuge and eagles fly overhead.
In the City of Everett great effort is being made to reconnect the community to its waterfront at the Wynn Resorts site and elsewhere. Just one half-mile up river from where we are, the City of Somerville and Federal Realty are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve life on the river’s banks at Assembly Row. John Preotle is restoring the Malden River at River’s Edge and Tufts University has brought its rowing team to practice there.
In Chelsea, Everett and East Boston, local community activists are finding ways to bring people to the river, inspire young students to learn more about the local environment and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for Mystic River communities.
It is tremendously unfair that one of the world’s largest corporations is putting all of this work in jeopardy. It is time for ExxonMobil to step up to the plate to address the ongoing harm it is causing our river and our community.
We are very grateful that Conservation Law Foundation is holding ExxonMobil accountable for its actions and for CLF’s promise to help protect and restore the natural environment of the Mystic River.
View a video of the press conference on CLF's Facebook page (you don't need to sign-in to Facebook or have an account to watch this.)
Watch EK's WGBH interview.