methyl tert-butyl ether or MTBE

MTBE in Drinking Water

1979   Methyl tert-butyl ether replaces tetraethyl lead in gasoline.

Methyl tert-butyl ether, also known as methyl tertiary butyl ether and MTBE, is an organic compound with molecular formula (CH3)3COCH3.

MTBE is a volatile, flammable and colorless liquid that is sparingly soluble.

It has a minty odor vaguely reminiscent of diethyl ether, leading to unpleasant taste and odor in water.

MTBE is a gasoline additive, an oxygenate to raise the octane rating.

Its use became controversial when found in ground water.

After that federal and state legislation favored ethanol.

1992   MTBE is being used at higher concentrations in some gasoline to fulfill the oxygenate requirements set by Congress in Clean Air Act amendments.

1996   Santa Monica closes 7 of 11 drinking water wells in its Charnock well field after discovering MTBE contamination.

1999   MTBE, manufactured by the chemical reaction of methanol and butylene, is being produced in very large quantities of more than 200,000 barrels per day in the US.

October 15, 2000 Chevron announces acquisition of Texaco.

2001   An associate professor of chemistry at Purdue University finds MTBE in gasoline supplies in systems where the fuel additive is not required.

The study examines 200 samples of gas taken from stations in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan and finds that over 70% of the samples contained MTBE and 25% of the samples contained "significant amounts of MTBE.

One ounce of MTBE can contaminate 1,000 tons of water.

California's Water Resources Control Board reports 48 public water drinking systems serving hundreds of thousands of residents have been contaminated with MTBE.

This is in addition to tens of thousands of private wells throughout California and hundreds of thousands of private wells nationwide.

Shell, Chevron, Texaco, Equilon Enterprises and Unocal settle a lawsuit filed by an environmental group which requires the oil companies to remediate MTBE ground water contamination at a minimum of 700 sites in California.

ExxonMobil agrees to pay $12 million in partial reimbursement of what South Lake Tahoe Public Utility to remediate MTBE from ground water which had to close 12 of its 34 drinking water wells.

2003   ChevronTexaco agrees to pay $9.1 million to settle a lawsuit arising from MTBE ground water contamination in Cambria, California.

2004   California Superior Court judge approved a settlement agreement between a dozen firms and the City of Santa Monica, California over ground water contamination with MTBE.

The settlement, which is valued at $312 million, includes $100 million in cash payments plus "a potentially unlimited obligation to cleanup up the wells."

Defendants included in this settlement are:

ChevronTexaco, Chevron USA Inc., Chevron Products Co., ExxonMobil, Shell Oil, Shell Oil Products, Shell Pipeline, Equilon Enterprises, Equilon Pipeline, Texaco Refining, Thrifty Oil, and Best California Gas.

This is believed to be the largest settlement to date for MTBE contamination.

New York State had identified over 13,000 sites with ground water contamination by MTBE.

New York had allowed gasoline sold in the state to include 12 to 15% MTBE, some of the highest mixtures in the nation.

MTBE contamination has been discovered in ground water in 28 states and estimates of the costs to cleanup the contamination range from $30 billion to $100 billion.

The estimated costs to filter some 130 municipal drinking water wells in Plainview Long Island (New York) ranges from $390 million to $1 billion.

New York has removes some 6,000 leaking underground storage tanks.

By January, 2005 oil companies agreed to pay nearly a half billion dollars to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of municipalities over MTBE contaminated ground water.

2005   Worldwide production of MTBE has been constant at about 18 million tons/y owing to growth in Asian markets which are less subject to ethanol subsidies.

ChevronTexaco agrees to settle a lawsuit by paying $850,000 for ground water contamination with MTBE. The suit is filed by the Los Osos Community Services District after MTBE from a former gas station contaminated ground water and at least one drinking water well.

EPA announced another settlement with a dozen oil companies over MTBE contaminated ground water beneath Santa Monica, California.

The settling companies, which will pay $1.5 million to end the suit, include:

Shell Oil; Shell Oil Products; Equilon Enterprises; Shell Pipeline; TRM; ChevronTexaco; Chevron USA; ExxonMobil; Mobil Oil; Thrifty Oil; and Best California Gas.

The companies have already extracted nearly 350 million gallons of contaminated ground water.

Estimates of cleanup costs necessary to remediate MTBE contaminated ground water nationwide run between $29 billion and $92 billion. Some 140 municipalities and water companies have filed lawsuits against petroleum industry defendants over ground water contamination with the fuel additive MTBE.

Twelve oil companies, Premcor Refining, Conoco, Tosco, Shell Oil, Shell Oil Products, Phillips Petroleum, BP Products North America, BP Amoco, Union Oil, UNO-VEN, Citgo Petroleum, and PDV Midwest Refining LLC, have agreed to pay $8 million to the village of East Alton, Illinois to settle their liability for drinking water wells contaminated with MTBE.

Two gas stations are believed to be the source of the contamination.

Twenty-one US Senators ask the EPA to provide them with information contained in a draft report being reviewed by the agency that concludes that the gasoline additive MTBE should be labeled a human carcinogen.

unique library index

This web site is not a commercial web site and is presented for educational purposes only.

This website defines a new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has forged a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel through their agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race. Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious ideology. This web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the Way of the Lumière Infinie - a rational gnostic mystery religion based on reason which requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no church buildings and in which each and every individual is encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that has enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of the Lumière Infinie are spelled out in detail on this web site by the author. Violent acts against individuals due to their religious beliefs in America is considered a "hate crime."

This web site in no way condones violence. To the contrary the intent here is to reduce the violence that is already occurring due to the international corporate cartels desire to control the human race. The international corporate cartel already controls the world economic system, corporate media worldwide, the global industrial military entertainment complex and is responsible for the collapse of morals, the elevation of self-centered behavior and the destruction of global ecosystems. Civilization is based on coöperation. Coöperation does not occur at the point of a gun.

American social mores and values have declined precipitously over the last century as the corrupt international cartel has garnered more and more power. This power rests in the ability to deceive the populace in general through corporate media by pressing emotional buttons which have been preprogrammed into the population through prior mass media psychological operations. The results have been the destruction of the family and the destruction of social structures that do not adhere to the corrupt international elites vision of a perfect world. Through distraction and coercion the direction of thought of the bulk of the population has been directed toward solutions proposed by the corrupt international elite that further consolidates their power and which further their purposes.

All views and opinions presented on this web site are the views and opinions of individual human men and women that, through their writings, showed the capacity for intelligent, reasonable, rational, insightful and unpopular thought. All factual information presented on this web site is believed to be true and accurate and is presented as originally presented in print media which may or may not have originally presented the facts truthfully. Opinion and thoughts have been adapted, edited, corrected, redacted, combined, added to, re-edited and re-corrected as nearly all opinion and thought has been throughout time but has been done so in the spirit of the original writer with the intent of making his or her thoughts and opinions clearer and relevant to the reader in the present time.

Fair Use Notice

This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, human rights, political, economic, democratic, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information see: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Dedicated to the establishment of knowledge, truth, justice and a clear understanding of reality as the American way!
Copyright © Lawrence Turner
All Rights Reserved