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22 Oct 2015

Eva Hershaw, Vice News (USA)

New documents show intl. arbitration panel visited Ecuador to inspect evidence of oil pollution by Chevron

“There Is Persistent Contamination at Former Chevron Sites in the Amazon”, 19 Oct 2015

New documents are breathing fresh air into a two decade legal battle entangling oil giant Chevron with the people and government of Ecuador…In 2009, Chevron initiated international arbitration against the Ecuadorian government under the US-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty.  The first documents from the international tribunal, released today by the Ecuadorian government…detail an unprecedented trip made by the three-member arbitration panel to the Lago Agrio region following an invitation by Ecuadorian authorities.  Chevron warned against the visit to Ecuador, claiming that the documentation of environmental pollution was irrelevant in a case they hope will prove that the original judgement was the result of a fraudulent judicial process…[D]espite whatever evidence of oil contamination, the company says it is no longer its responsibility.  A company representative contends that they have upheld their end of the 1998 settlement agreement, including remediation, which relinquishes it of any liability…Chevron argues that the Ecuadorian government released it of any environmental liability in 1998, but in a preliminary ruling issued in 2013, the tribunal said the agreement did not release Chevron from individual private claims against the company…