In early 2013, an ExxonMobil oil and gas pipeline ruptured, sending a stream of crude down a residential Arkansas street and into the local water supply. Since that accident, Exxon has faced resident class actions, environmental lawsuits and Department of Justice investigations.
Too put some of these claims to rest, Exxon has signed a consent decree with the U.S. and Arkansas governments, agreeing to pay approximately $5 million in Clean Water Act violation fines and for environmental cleanup programs. However, this settlement is likely just the tip of the iceberg for Exxon as a number of additional lawsuits, from both the government and private individuals, remain outstanding. For more information, read this Arkansas Times article.
Some commenters say that the 2013 oil spill could have been avoided if Exxon had properly built and maintained its pipeline infrastructure. This is an important reminder that cutting corners on preventative costs can lead to significant expenses and time in the courtroom later on.