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SD Sues Chevron Over Oil Leak Cleanup Money

January 20, 2011, 7:02 AM

SIOUX FALLS, SD - South Dakota is suing Chevron, saying the company should return taxpayer money it took to clean up underground oil leaks because it also collected insurance money.
Chevron faces similar lawsuits in other states. Chevron spokesman Sean Comey says the company acted in good faith and complied with the law.

South Dakota's lawsuit was filed on behalf of the state Petroleum Release Fund. Executive Director Dennis Rounds says it was created in 1988 in the wake of new federal regulations he says pushed the insurance industry away from pollution coverage. States responded by creating funds for cleanups.

The lawsuit asks a jury to decide damages. It does not specify how much Chevron has collected from South Dakota's reimbursement fund.

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