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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell To Pay $14.5M Settlement Over MTBE Leaks In Calif: ( 8 Jan 05




SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP)--Shell Oil Co. (RD,SC) has agreed to pay $14.5 million over leaks of the gasoline additive MTBE at dozens of stations in Orange County.


The settlement calls for Shell to pay for tests to determine the amount of methyl tertiary-butyl ether that leaked into soil and groundwater from tanks under 173 stations, county District Attorney Anthony Rackauckas said Thursday.


Shell is the last of three gas and oil companies to settle a six-year lawsuit brought by Orange County over the contamination.


"Shell continues to work proactively to (remedy) any contaminated locations," company spokesman Cameron Smythe said.


The county's drinking water supply wasn't affected, officials said.


The chemical is a gasoline additive that California phased out last year, in large part because of a similar case in the city of Santa Monica, where drinking water wells were contaminated.


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