Chevron in Ecuador

The archive of the Clean Up Ecuador campaign website

Devastating Evidence of Chevron Destruction Undergirds $18 Billion Ecuador Appellate Decision

Communities Release Document Summarizing Wide Body of Scientific Evidence

Amazon Defense Coalition

Amazon Defense Coalition
Contact: Karen Hinton at +1.703.798.3109

Quito, Ecuador – Ecuador's courts relied on a wide body of devastating scientific and documentary evidence to find Chevron liable for causing what experts believe is one of the worst oil-related contaminations in history, according to a summary of the evidence released today by representatives of the plaintiffs.

On Tuesday, a three-judge appellate panel upheld an $18 billion judgment against the oil giant for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into Amazon waterways when it operated in Ecuador from 1964 to 1992. The dumping decimated five indigenous groups and caused an outbreak of cancer and other oil-related diseases, according to evidence relied on by the trial court in its 188-page decision.

The summary of the evidence can be found here in a document titled "Summary of Overwhelming Evidence Against Chevron In Ecuador Trial". The document concludes that the trial court relied on evidence that:

  • Chevron adopted sub-standard operational practices in Ecuador that were outlawed under local laws and industry standards. For more than two decades the company deliberately dumped toxic-laden "produced water" directly into rivers and streams relied on local inhabitants for their drinking water, bathing, and fishing.
  • Chevron carved more than 900 unlined waste pits out of the jungle floor, where it dumped oil sludge that was transported by pipes to nearly rivers and streams.
  • Chevron never cleaned up hundreds of oil spills from its ruptured pipelines. It also ordered its employees to destroy all documents related to the oil spills so they would not attract attention from the media or regulatory authorities.
  • Chevron violated numerous laws designed to protect human health and the environment that were on the books in Ecuador.
  • The parties produced scientific evidence during the trial that demonstrated Chevron's former well sites were contaminated with levels of hydrocarbons hundreds of times higher than permissible norms in Ecuador. According to the U.S. government, most of the hydrocarbons found adversely affect the functioning of the immune, nervous, and reproductive systems and can cause cancer.
  • Chevron's self-described Ecuador environmental "remediation" was a complete fraud, with so-called remediated toxic waste pits found to be just as contaminated as pits that were never touched by Chevron clean-up workers.