Louisiana Bucket Brigade
February 9, 2005


Judge's Ruling Finds Repeated Violations

Community Calls for Air Monitors to Hold ExxonMobil Accountable

New Orleans -- In a resounding vindication of Chalmette citizens'
longstanding complaints about ExxonMobil's toxic air pollution, U.S.
District Court Judge Sarah Vance ruled in favor of the citizens,
ruling that refinery operations violate the Clean Air Act. "We are so
happy - delighted really - to think that justice is being done," said
Ken Ford of the St. Bernard Citizens for Environmental Quality.

The court's ruling not only found that ExxonMobil has violated the
Clean Air act but also that ExxonMobil is likely to continue doing so.
According to the Judge's Opinion, "the documented violations indicate,
that Chalmette repeatedly violates the Clean Air Act and that, unless
some action is taken to prevent the illegal conduct, there is a real
threat that such violations will continue to occur."

Mr. Ford and his neighbors have long been especially concerned about
the pollution's effect on the children who attend the elementary
school just across the street from the embattled refinery. "Relief is
what I feel," said Mr. Lewis, a member of the Citizens for
Environmental Quality. "I am relieved that after years of fighting
this pollution we are finally going to see some change."

The Court's emphasis on the potential for ongoing violations
corroborates community members' experiences, as foul chemical odors
continue to dominate their neighborhood.

The Court's ruling is a landmark one for the citizens as it
demonstrates - for the first time ever -- that ExxonMobil is liable
for the harm it creates via toxic emissions. The ruling is in response
to a motion for summary judgment filed by the citizen groups' lawyers,
the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic. Andre Shiromani prepared the
liability motion last May when he was a third-year law student at
Tulane Law School. Mr. Shiromani is now an attorney with the
Tallahassee, Florida office of Earthjustice. Clay Garside, currently a
third-year Tulane law student, argued the citizens' case on January
19, 2005.

The citizens' motion detailed 34 instances in which the refinery
reported flaring toxic chemicals to the air. The crucial aspect of
these incidents is that ExxonMobil itself reported that these
emissions could have been prevented. Repeated preventable flaring
incidents violate the Clean Air Act. An ExxonMobil report to the state
Department of Environmental Quality detailed an ongoing preventable
flaring incident as recently as December 16, 2004, less than two
months ago.

The flaring incidents are a concern to the community because of the
health risks involved. Cancer and respiratory problems are among the
serious health problems posed by the chemicals that ExxonMobil emits.

The community groups are repeating their calls for air monitors as the
only way to hold ExxonMobil accountable for its pollution in the
future. "It is time for ExxonMobil to stop making excuses," said Anne
Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. "Refinery officials need to
sit down with us and make a plan to install the real time air monitors
that we have been advocating for over a year."

The case is also important for the implications at refineries around
the country. "This is a bell-weather case," said Denny Larson of the
national Refinery Reform Campaign. "Flaring is a problem around over
the country, and this decision puts violating companies on notice."

ExxonMobil did not dispute that it violates the Clean Air Act but
argued that Chalmette residents had no legal standing to sue because
the refinery is not the only source of pollution in the community.
The Judge's ruling rejected ExxonMobil's argument and verified the
group's standing in the suit. ExxonMobil operates the Chalmette
Refinery, which is a 50-50 joint venture between ExxonMobil and
Petroleos de Venezuela.

Judge Vance issued her ruling on Friday, February 4th, in the midst of
the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. The community groups are
the first to release the ruling to the media.

For information contact:

Ken Ford, St. Bernard Citizens for Environmental Quality (504) 271 -

Adam Babich, Tulane Environmental Law Clinic (504) 862 -- 8800

Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, (504) 914-3164