"Citgo to Settle New Hampshire Gas-Additive Lawsuit"

"Citgo Petroleum Corp. reached an agreement with New Hampshire to be dismissed from an $816 million trial over groundwater contamination while a settlement is completed, as a witness testified that 2 percent of the state’s private wells are polluted with hazardous levels of the chemical MTBE."

"“The parties stipulate that Citgo Petroleum shall be severed from the above captioned case until such time as a consent agreement between Citgo and the state is filed with the court,” the parties said in a court filing dated Jan. 15 and signed by Nate Eimer, a lawyer for Citgo, and New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Mary E. Maloney.

Under the agreement, the parties have until Feb. 15 to complete an accord before Citgo is reinstated to the case, unless they agree to an extension. Yesterday, a person familiar with the matter said Citgo and New Hampshire reached a deal over claims the oil company polluted the state’s water with MTBE, a gasoline additive. The person asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Citgo’s lawyers didn’t appear in court yesterday as the trial resumed."

Sarah Earle and Don Jeffrey report for Bloomberg January 17, 2013.

Source: Bloomberg, 01/17/2013