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Irish Independent: Shell fights 5m action over leak

Feb 23, 2006
Ann O'Loughlin
MEATH County Council has brought a 5m action for damages against Irish Shell Ltd.
The case arises from the leakage of petrol and diesel hydrocarbons from a Shell filling station to the adjoining site of the council's new civic offices at Trim.
The council wants up to 5m damages, plus legal costs, for the costs it's incurred through a continuing failure to build the civic offices.
It also wants the High Court to order Shell to clean up the Trim site to an acceptable level.
Pat Butler, SC, for the council, told the court Shell had accepted responsibility for the cost of cleaning up the site arising from the contamination, which was detected in January 2001 after a “sheen” from petrol hydrocarbons was observed in the nearby River Boyne.
The site had still not been cleaned to a standard which was agreed between the sides, Mr Butler said.
Shell had tried to renegotiate the clean-up standards but the Environmental Protection Agency had held there was no reason to alter those standards.
Mr Butler said Shell was also refusing to accept responsibility for the costs incurred by the council.
Solicitors for Shell had said that, as a “responsible” body, it would, if found liable for the contamination, act appropriately, counsel said.

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