Three major petroleum conglomerates — Shell, BP and Sunoco — have agreed to pay the State of New Jersey $196.5 million to settle claims that they damaged the state’s environment and natural resources by producing gasoline laced with the additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). Added to previous settlements, New Jersey has secured more than $350 million from defendant companies. Our firm’s partner, Leonard Kaufmann, in his capacity as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, was one of the lawyers who, along with the Office of the Attorney General, has litigated this matter on behalf of the State.In 2007, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection initiated the litigation against nearly 50 petroleum refiners and distributors, gasoline sellers and chemical manufacturers, in which it has claimed that waterways throughout the state have been contaminated by gasoline containing MTBE. The state continues to pursue damage claims against additional defendants.