Action Plan:GreenRoots, La Communidad, NOAH Unite to Challenge ExxonMobile

By Seth Daniel

Three local environmental organizations and one statewide organization partnered last Thursday morning to challenge the ExxonMobile terminal in Everett to think about an action plan for natural disasters caused by what they termed climate change complications.

The action was a surprise to those working at the terminal’s office on Beacham Street, as workers there were quite confused by the large group of activists looking to simply deliver a letter to the terminal manager.

“We live in Everett, Chelsea, East Boston and adjacent communities and are deeply concerned with potential impacts from the Everett Terminal along the Mystic River should a hurricane, super storm Sandy or other significant weather event happen in the Greater Boston area,” read the letter, which had 11 pages of signatures from residents attached. “As proximate neighbors to your facility, we want to know if Exxon has an evacuation plan, a plan to address the impacts of petroleum products flowing into our rivers and neighborhoods and how Exxon will communicate these measures to residents of our communities. As you are aware and have admitted in your own communications, our climate is changing. Exxon’s Everett facility, and our communities, will be on the front lines as sea levels rise and storms increase in frequency and intensity. A spill from you facility – which will be caused by an intense rain event or by storm surges washing over your property – would have catastrophic effects on our watershed and our communities.”

Activists waited in a small lobby and the terminal manager did appear, opening the door and peaking out.

Chelsea GreenRoots member John Valinch spoke to inform the manager they wanted to deliver the letter to him and asked him to take it.

He declined.

“I will decline to take the letter, but I will get you the right information as to where to you can direct it. This is a work environment and work is being done today. We are concerned too. Many of us work here and live here…I’m going to ask you to leave now and not block the way. Actually, this is a restricted terminal area and you aren’t supposed to be here.”

After he left the door, members of the three organizations – as well as the statewide Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) – taped the letter to the glass door so that it could be seen inside.

The letter mostly asked for information from the Terminal.

Specifically, it asked for:

  • Exxon’s Facility Response Plan and all attachments and exhibits in a non-redacted form.
  • Exxon’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan and all attachments and exhibits in a non-redacted form.
  • Exxon’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and all attachments and exhibits in a non-redacted form.
  • Engineered site plans for the past 10 years.
  • Any and all documents showing how the facility is responding to climate change impacts, including storm surges.

The letter invited Exxon to participate in a quarterly business roundtable with GreenRoots and other partners.

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