'Chevron owes nothing' - company responds to court call for $16.5bn damages

Oil giant Chevron has rejected the findings of a report prepared for an Ecuadoran court which claims the company is liable to pay billions of dollars in compensation for quarter of a century of pollution.

In the mother of all pollution court cases, Chevron subsidiary Texaco stands accused of releasing billions of gallons of toxic wastewater into an area of Amazon rainforest between 1964 and 1990.

A court appointed expert has put the price tag on the pollution at US$16.5 billion.

The report puts the cost of remediation itself at US$1.7bn but argues that funding should also be given to cover healthcare and replacement of potable water sytstems and other infrastructure.

A spokesman for the company told Edie: "The bulk of the assessment is made up by an absurd 'unjust enrichment' claim."

THis echoes the stance of Chevron's spokesman in Ecuador who told the local press that the company owes nothing as in the late 1990s the government had approved the clean-up of land where the company had been active.

He said the report was 'absurd and illegal' and that the company would challenge it point by point.

Local tribes people who claim to be affected by pollution in the region have also launched a claim against the company.

Sam Bond



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