Exxon Mobil says it does not intend to spend any more money on claims or damages arising from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, according to a federal court document filed Friday.
Exxon, along with the state and federal governments, has been ordered to appear in court this week by a federal judge in response to a motion filed by environmental activist and longtime University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner.
Last month, Steiner convinced U.S. District Judge Russell Holland to hold a hearing on what's going on with the so-called "re-opener" provision of a previous settlement that would require Exxon to pay $92 million for restoration efforts if more problems arose out of the spill and oil continued to harm the environment.
But the governments never took any steps to collect the money and Steiner, who has been involved with the Exxon Valdez spill and its aftermath beginning with helping lead an effort by fishermen to keep oil from reaching sensitive habitat areas in 1989, decided the public has waited long enough and filed a legal action to force the issue.
The hearing is set for 10 a.m. Friday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage. Steiner will represent himself.
The state and federal governments filed opposition to Steiner's motion weeks ago. Government attorneys said the state had filed a restoration plan in 2006 but were still working on exactly what they thought needed to be done before seeking payment from Exxon under the re-opener. ...
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