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Chemical / South America

Brazilian prosecutors seek $500M from Shell, BASF for contamination at chemical plant

June 04, 2012
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BRASILIA — Brazilian prosecutors are asking a court to force Shell and BASF to pay $500 million into a compensation fund for workers who may have been contaminated at an agricultural chemicals plant in the city of Paulinia, 75 miles northwest of Sao Paulo, The Washington Post reported.

Two courts earlier ordered the companies to pay that amount, but the case was appealed and is now before a higher court in Brasilia.

The prosecutors are asking that Shell Brasil SA and BASF SA immediately pay the $500 million into an account so that it will be available once the higher court rules on the case.

“We have a set of technical reports that confirm that the soil is totally contaminated, the water is totally contaminated and that workers were massively exposed (to toxic chemicals),” said Rafael Almeida, a spokesman for prosecutors in neighboring Campinas.

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