Testimony ends in marathon NH gas additive trial

AP News
Posted: Mar 27, 2013 1:25 PM

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Testimony has ended in a marathon trial over whether Exxon Mobil Corp. should pay the state of New Hampshire hundreds of millions of dollars to monitor and treat private wells and public drinking supplies contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE.

Jurors in the longest-running trial in state history are set to hear final arguments on April 3.

The products liability case opened Jan. 14. The final defense witness testified Wednesday that MTBE significantly improved air quality in New Hampshire by reducing emissions.

Engineer Thomas Austin equated the benefits of MTBE use in New Hampshire in 2006 to removing 166,000 vehicles from the state's roads.

The state filed its lawsuit a decade ago against 26 oil companies and distributors. All but Exxon Mobil reached settlement agreements with the state.