Exxon to pay $25 million for New York City oil spill

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp will pay $25 million as part of a settlement to clean up a decades-old oil spill in New York City, the state’s attorney general said on Wednesday.

The settlement, filed in U.S. district court in Brooklyn, requires Exxon to conduct a comprehensive cleanup of its Greenpoint facility in Brooklyn, which includes oil floating on top of the water table and contaminated groundwater and soil.

“For far too long, residents of Greenpoint have been forced to live with an environmental nightmare lurking just beneath their homes, their businesses and their community,” Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

New York sued Exxon over the 17 million gallon spill in 2007. The settlement resolves that lawsuit, but still needs final approval by a federal judge, Cuomo’s office said.

Exxon’s property on Newtown Creek was the site of one of the earliest refineries of original U.S. oil giant Standard Oil, but most of the refinery structures were decommissioned and demolished after 1969.

Greenpoint, a waterfront neighborhood that is a longtime home to Polish immigrants and more recently to young city-dwellers, was an industrial hub for shipbuilding, iron making and refining before World War II.

“Complex remediation projects such as Greenpoint -- where petroleum products are underground and not easily accessed -- take time to complete,” The Irving, Texas-based company said in a statement.

Exxon said it would stay on until the clean-up was complete.

Exxon, the largest publicly traded oil company in the world, had a profit of $7.35 billion in the third quarter of this year.

Shares of Exxon ended 7 cents higher at $69.01 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Anna Driver. Editing by Gary Hill and Robert MacMillan