Aberdeen to get $2.5 million from gas station lawsuit settlement

Aberdeen is set to receive a $2.5 million settlement from a nationwide lawsuit about gas station emissions, Mayor Mike Bennett said at Monday's city council meeting.

The city has been participating in a nationwide lawsuit regarding spillage of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) by gas stations.

Aberdeen was faced with MTBE contamination from a 7-Eleven station on Route 40 in 2004 and had to do remediation.

Bennett said a resolution to receive the settlement should be announced at the next council meeting.

"The City of Aberdeen, out of all the plaintiffs in Maryland, is receiving the highest settlement," he said, explaining it's because the city kept good records.

"We should be receiving this money by the end of this fiscal year," he said. "We are looking forward to that."

Bennett said it should give Aberdeen the opportunity to look at its infrastructure needs and, possibly, create a rainy day fund for infrastructure.

In 2010, Aberdeen joined a class action suit in an effort to recover the city's costs on the 2004 spill.

"We didn't have the opportunity to join one before but we were approached and we are going to be part of that suit," Aberdeen city Manager Doug Miller said at that time.

The gasoline additive MTBE was detected in concentrations 12,000 times greater than the level the state recognized as needing action.

The contamination came in the wake of community panic in the Upper Cross Roads area, where MTBE was discovered in groundwater earlier that summer.

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