[JURIST] After re-examining the costs of cleaning up remaining oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill [BBC report], the US Justice Department and the state of Alaska said Thursday that they would use a "reopener" provision [DOJ fact sheet] in an earlier agreement with ExxonMobil [corporate website] and seek $92 million in unforeseen damages. "After extensive review it is clear that populations and habitat within the oil spill area have suffered substantial and unanticipated injuries that are attributable to the Exxon Valdez oil spill," Alaska Attorney General David Marquez said [press release]. ExxonMobil's initial reaction was one of skepticism. The company has seen no evidence that justifies additional damages, a spokesman said, and even if more money is needed for the cleanup, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council [advocacy website] can cover the costs.
The Valdez dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound and contaminated about 1,300 miles of coastline. ExxonMobil is appealing $5 billion in punitive damages [company press release] awarded in a civil case brought by Alaskan fishermen and property owners. Reuters has more.