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WHAT DID THE OIL COMPANIES KNOW AND WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT?

A Sampling of Evidence Obtained Through Legal Discovery From the Internal Documents of Oil and Gas Companies re: Intentional, Negligent, and Wanton Pollution of Louisiana Land and Water THE OIL COMPANIES KNEW THE IMPACT OF THEIR ACTIVITIES EARLY IN THE 20TH CENTURY BUT CHOSE TO IGNORE IT. EARLY HISTORY 1917 First paper on impacts due to paraffin (a component of oil and oil field wastes), Journal of Agriculture Research, 1917. 1924 1929 Report by the Bureau of Mines on the impacts of OIL FIELD BRINES on VEGETATION, SURFACE WATER, FISH, LIVESTOCK , FISH, LIVESTOCK, AND DRINKING WATER. ALSO SHOWED EVAPORATION PONDS DO NOT WORK! The Disposal of Oil Field Brines, US Bureau of Mines and the Kansas State Board of Health. 1932 Report to the American Petroleum Institute by Chairman on Disposal of Production Wastes

Research published on the impacts of OIL We are only kidding ourselves when we think we can dispose of salt water by solar evaporation POLLUTION, paper was prepared by committee of representatives from earthen ponds. of the US Bureau of Mines, American Petroleum Institute, and the American Steamship Owners What we have attributed to evaporation was due Association, July 11, 1924, Public Health Reports to seepage V. 39. Eventually, such seepage may either follow an impervious stratus to the surface where it may affect vegetation or may find its way to fresh water sources, either surface or subsurface, and in

such quantities as to be objectionable...we cannot expect to successfully impound salt water without seepage On April 18, 1994, an internal memo of Texacos referenced the above study, Donald Gallaher author, and circulated to staff. It stated the following: Attached is a 1932 letter with attachments from the Chairman of the API Committee on Disposal and Production Wastes.I assume someone is finally getting around to cleaning out their files. IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE HOW LITTLE HAS CHANGED. 1932 WAS NOT, HOWEVER, THE FIRST KNOWLEDGE THE OIL INDUSTRY HAD OF THE HARZARDOUS NATURE OF THEIR ACTIVITIES. A May 26th, 1932 internal memo of Shell Oil Company, written from its Field Department, about Wilbert No. 3 in White Castle, La. states the following about its earthen pit storage:

THERE IS NO ECONOMIC INCENTIVE TO MAINTAIN THEM. A DILIGENT STATE REPRESENTATIVE COULD CITE US FOR IMPROPER PIT USAGE AT SEVERAL SITES. these discharge points probably should have been DESIGNED FOR COMPLIANCE WHEN THE PERMIT APPLICATIONS WERE SUBMITTED. (Note: the permit applications cited were submitted 5 years previous to the memorandum.) THE MEMORANDUM CITES AN AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE STUDY CURRENTLY UNDERWAY AT THE TIME THE MEMORANDUM WAS WRITTEN SUGGESTING SOMETHING OTHER THAN A DESIRE TO AVOID ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE. IT STATES:

API is initiating a study to DEMONSTRATE Following seepage through the levees and through THAT THESE FLUIDS ARE NOT DETRIMENTAL the formation of the pit, the salt water seeks TO THE ENVIRONMENT natural drainage in various directions from the pit, spreading over considerable area and KILLING HOWEVER, THE WRITER OF THE THE TIMBER AND VEGETATION. MEMORANDUM THEN STATES SOMEWHAT DUBIOUSLY: A check-up shows that the salt water has already destroyed approximately 11,500 board feet of The outcome of this study will be most interesting timber as FIELD OPERATIONS INDICATE THAT ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE HAS OCCURRED AT SEVERAL PITS. WHAT WAS SHELLS SOLUTION? AGAIN QUOTING THE MEMORANDUM: installation of pit liners be deferred until such time as they ARE SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED. THE SHELL INTERNAL MEMORANDUM THEN DISCUSSES THE CONDITION OF THE STORAGE PITS AND COMES TO THE FOLLOWING CONCLUSION: Pits are used extensively in Coastal Division. The appearances of many are poor which to many WOULD INDICATE A LACK OF CONCERN FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. IN A SUBSEQUENT INTERNAL SHELL MEMORANDUM, MARKED PRIVATE, ON JUNE 13, 1980, WRITTEN AGAIN BY THE DIVISION OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION MANAGER ON THE SUBJECT: ENVIRONMENTAL SURVEY AT RIVERLANDS UNIT, THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATIONS WERE MADE:

SHELL OIL COMPANY LATER INTERNAL REPORTS AND MEMORANDUM On October 12th, 1979, Shells Division of Safety and Environmental Conservation Manger, Coastal Division, in an internal memorandum on the SUBJECT: EARTHEN PITS, made the following observations: (NOTE: THIS IS SOME 47 YEARS LATER AND THE ISSUE OF EARTHERN PITS IS STILL BE DISCUSSED BY SHELL) Over the years, Industry waste handling has become CARELESS as any and all types of wastes ARE DUMPED INTO PITS. SOME OF THESE PITS HAVE BECOME EYESCORES BECAUSE

Generally speaking, the appearance of the LaPice (sic), White Castle, and St. Gabriel field facilities looked badNUMEROUS ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS ARE BEING VIOLATED (and) state or federal agents visiting the three facilities in question could issue a CITATION ANYTIME RESULTING IN POSSIBLE FACILITY SHUTDOWNS AND STIFF FINES. WHAT DID THE ENVIRONMENTAL SURVEY SHOW ACCORDING TO THE SHELL INTERNAL MEMO? pit dikes are seeping fluids to navigable waters dikes have deteriorated allowing fluids to escape vegetation kill is evident...due to oil and saltwater leaks oil is standingin surrounding wetland areas without being cleaned up illegal discharges of saltwater and waste oils are being made to navigable waters WHAT WERE THE REASONS FOR THESE CONDITIONS, ACCORDING TO THIS SHELL INTERNAL MEMORANDUM? First, the antiquated production and pit system used at these fields WERE NOT DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT.

Postponing (OR CANCELLATION IN THE CASE OF THE FIELDS BEING SOLD) our pit closure program WOULD DEFER CASH EXPENDITURES MAKING DOLLARS AVAILABLE FOR OTHER COMPANY REQUIREMENTS. FINALLY, IN A SHELL INTERNAL STUDY AUTHORED ON APRIL 2TH, 1984, ENTITLED FUTURE REGULATION IMPACTS OF EARTEN PITS UTILIZED AT PLANT OR PRODUCTION FACILITIES, FURTHER EVIDENCE OF INTENTIONAL AND HAZARDOUS POLICIES OF THE COMPANY WERE ADDRESSED: Utilizing pits to store wastes in many cases causes detrimental effects on soil and subsurface environments. Soils can be contaminatedGround waters can be contaminated Some businesses have been operating pits without regard for protection of soil and ground water resources. EPA has cleaned up some of these pits AT HIGH COSTS TO TAXPAYERS. AND EVIDENCE SHOW THESE PITS HAVE DEFINITELY CONTAMINATED SOIL AND GROUND WATER SOURCES. FLAGRANT VIOLATIONS About the closure of the Kings Bayou pit in Cameron Parish, the memo stated that we were required to close this saltwater pit because of SEEPAGE TO ADJACENT LAND. THE PIT IS APPROXIMATELY 20 YEARS OLD AND FILLED WITH HYDROCARBON SLUDGE AND SALTWATER.

Secondly, the facility upkeep problem has BECOME COMPOUNDED because the STATE ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES HAVE BEEN SLACK IN ENFORCING THEIR REGULATIONS it has created a mood of OPERATIONAL It becomes OBVIOUS, a production pit SHOULD INDIFERENCE that has in most instances NEVER HAVE BEEN CONSTRUCTED AT KINGS RESULTED IN POOR UPKEEP OF FACILITIES. BAYOU. FURTHER, PRODUCTION PITS SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUCTED AT UPLAND SITES IN THE FUTURE Through the years we have ENJOYED THESE Operators must begin to design and close pits ALL OF THESE PRACTICES ARE FLAGRANT properly or lawsuits will become a severe problem in the future. VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW. IN A SUBSEQUENT INTERNAL SHELL MEMORANDUM, WRITTEN AGAIN BY THE SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION MANAGER, REGARDING THE VARIOUS PROBLEMS CREATED BY THE ABOVE MOOD OF OPERATIONAL INDIFFERENCE, THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT GETS TO THE PRIMARY POINT: COST SAVINGS

TEXACO INTERNAL MEMOS REGARDING

PIT DAMAGE AND DISCLOSURE ACCORDING TO TEXACO INTERNAL MEMORANDUM RE: POLLUTION CONTROL TANK BATTERY PITS, DATED APRIL 8TH, 1982, RESPONDING TO A DRAFT LETTER RE: CLOSURE OF UNLINED PITS, THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ARE MADE:

Woodward-Clyde feels that presently we are just mitigating the problem. WITH THE METHOD OF REMEDIATION BEING USED WE ARE LOOKING AT OVER 125 YEARS CLEAN UP TIME. Presently, we are using THE METHOD OF REMEDIATION. CHEAPEST

The fastest remediation process would be to remove the soil and eliminate the sourceHowever, this is the most expensive procedure.

The possibility of our exposure to public reaction and enforcement action by regulatory agencies SUMMARY must be analyzed first. The publics awareness of environmental problems-especially in Louisianahas grown rapidly recently.The news media have Unlike what LOGA leaders maintain, oil been monitoring the regulatory agencies programs companies knew the impact of their activities, particularly as it relates to the dilatory effects of closely. earthen pit dumping, and intentionally continued to pursue their policies of environmental harm. An argument against initiating a pit closure programneeds to be balanced against the risk of exposure TO ADVERSE PUBLICITY AND IS IT ANY WONDER THAT LANDOWNERS, CITIZENS, AND OTHERS HAVE FILED ENFORCEMENT ACTION. LAWSUITS REGARDING THE FAILURE OF THESE COMPANIES TO CLEAN UP THE HAZARDOUS MESS THEY HAVE MADE IN ON MAY 6TH, 1982, JUST A MONTH LATER, A LOUISIANA? TEXACO INTERNAL MEMO STATED: We are receiving an ever increasing number of complaints and demands from our landowners and their attorneys concerning POOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SURFACE OF THEIR PROPERTY.In addition to jeapordizing (sic) future operations, this has caused both an embarrassment to the company and resulted in large non-productive expense. Moreover, these secret, internal documents of oil companies demonstrate there was one primary motive for their failure to clean up the hazardous mess they had createdPROFITS! OIL COMPANIES INTENTIONALLY, WITH KNOWLEDGE, AND FOR PROFIT RAVAGED LOUISIANAS ENVIRONMENT AND DID NOT START TO ADDRESS THEIR PROBLEM UNTIL LANDOWNERS STARTED TO DEMAND DAMAGES AND CLEAN UP.

IN ANOTHER INTERNAL TEXACO MEMORANDUM, DATE AUGUST 20TH (EXACT LEGACY LAWSUITS ARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE. YEAR UNKNOWN BUT DIRECTED TOWARD ACTIVITIES OF 1986), THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATIONS WERE MADE ABOUT THE FORDOCHE PRODUCTION FIELD AND GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION: