Of all the environmental organizations I've given my money, time and attention to, NRDC seems to reap the biggest results and have the most fingers plugging holes in the dam. S
After an epic 19-year battle, NRDC has struck a breakthrough court settlement with Texaco that will pour millions of dollars into environmental restoration projects on the Delaware River.
The oil giant relented just as NRDC litigators were preparing to head back to court in October for the fourth trial of the longest-running "citizen suit" in history.
Under the eleventh-hour agreement, Texaco will hand over $2.25 million to local groups that are working to restore the very stretch of the Delaware that the company illegally polluted over the course of a decade.
"This fantastic victory belongs to our Members," said Mitch Bernard, NRDC's director of litigation. "They have backed this case since 1988, and today we have shown that no company -- no matter how rich or powerful -- is above our environmental laws."
NRDC won the first round of this historic case back in 1992, when a federal judge ruled that Texaco had violated the clean water law on a total of 3,360 days and ordered the company to pay a fine of $1.68 million, stop its illegal pollution and assess the damage it had caused to the fragile river ecosystem.
After repeatedly defying court orders and suffering legal setbacks at the hands of NRDC and our local partners, Texaco paid the fine, reduced its pollution and produced a multiyear report on the impacts of its contamination of the Delaware.
Now, the company has granted long-awaited restitution to the ecosystem itself. Texaco's hefty payout will fund groups that include Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, the Delaware Native Plant Society, the Delmarva Ornithological Society and Delaware State Parks.
The monies will advance projects like tree planting, wetland restoration, meadow management and osprey nesting.