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A New Hampshire state court judge has determined that the State of New Hampshire has standing to sue oil companies that have polluted the state’s water supply with MTBE, a gasoline additive used heavily in the 1990s and early 2000s. The court dismissed one of the state’s seven counts against the oil companies, finding that the claim of public nuisance could not succeed because the oil companies did not have control of the MTBE-containing gasoline at the time it caused the harm. However, the court agreed with the New Hampshire Attorney General that the oil companies could be held responsible collectively for their actions and that the state need not prove each company’s individual contribution to the contamination. The state’s lawsuit was filed in 2003, seeking compensation for MTBE contamination of drinking water supplies across the state.
For the full story, go to the Concord Monitor.