Alaska state officials and federal officials will not ask for an additional fine of $92 million from Exxon Mobil Corp. for the massive 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup, according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, Alaska and the U.S. Department of Justice said they are dropping the case and will no longer seek an additional fine from Exxon Mobil. The money was used to recover several animals from Prince William Sound such as otters and ducks.
"Although we will not be pursuing Exxon for additional damages, our decision today does not close the book on lingering oil," Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards said, Reuters added.
Exxon Mobil agreed to a $900 million settlement of the lawsuits and a consent degree that resolved damages. This consent decree includes a "reopener" statement that allows the U.S. government to seek additional charges if needed for restoration, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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The government clarified that the company provided enough money to cover the cost of the restoration. "This is a success story. ... The long saga of Exxon Valdez, with regard to the federal government, is over," said John Cruden, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.
The decision reached did not find favor with environmentalists. The decision was "unconscionable betrayal of public trust," said Rick Steiner, an environmental consultant and marine scientist, ADN reported. It also "just underscores this transcendent lesson... there is no reason to trust government and oil industry promises," Steiner said.