June 1, 2006

Govt seeks $92 mln extra for Exxon Valdez spill

By Chris Baltimore

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Thursday said
it will pursue $92 million in extra damage claims against Exxon
Mobil Corp. for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the
worst in U.S. history.

Four U.S. agencies including the Justice Department and the
state of Alaska say it will cost that much more to clean up
lingering environmental damage from when the Exxon Valdez
tanker ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound and spilled
about 11 million gallons of crude oil.

Exxon has already paid $900 million in a 1991 civil
settlement, but a "reopener" provision in the deal allowed the
government to seek up to $100 million extra for unforeseen

Exxon Mobil had no immediate comment. The company has
asserted that there are no grounds for additional claims.

But government studies done since 2001 have found that
there is still oil residue left just below the surface of
Alaska's beaches from the spill.

"After extensive review it is clear that populations and
habitat within the oil spill area have suffered substantial and
unanticipated injuries that are attributable to the Exxon
Valdez oil spill," said Alaska Attorney General David Marquez.

Crude oil from the grounded Exxon tanker spread to 1,087
miles of coastline, including the Chugach National Forest,
three national parks, four national wildlife refuges and five
state parks.