A state court judge looks set to approve a $90 million settlement with residents of a Carson neighborhood sitting on top of a sludge of petroleum waste, pending a final objection from the oil giant’s developer co-defendant in the case.
Five years ago, residents of the Carousel neighborhood of Carson – 17 miles south of downtown L.A. – sued Shell Oil and real estate developer Barclay Hollander, with the support of high-profile environmental activist Erin Brockovich. Barclay is owned by multinational Dole Food Company.
The suit alleged the oil giant knew that hundreds of family homes would be built above three underground tanks when, in the late 1960s, it transferred part of the site to the developer.
Shell discovered that oil and carcinogenic chemicals had leaked into soil beneath the residential area that 1,491 people call home in 2009.