Chevron Corp. v. Maria Aguinda Salazar, et al.
Expert Opinion of Case No. 11-Civ-3718 (LAK)
Thomas E. McHugh, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
I have served as an expert in the Maria Aguinda et al. v. Chevron Corporation matter inEcuador and I submitted an expert report concerning human health risks within the former Concession area.
1.2 Summary of Key Opinions
For the matter of Chevron v. Maria Aguinda Salazar et al. I have been retained to evaluatewhether findings related to health damages in the Sentencia issued in Maria Aguinda et al. v.Chevron Corporation are supported by the scientific evidence in the record. For the purposeof this evaluation, I have reviewed technical information regarding the former Concessionarea. This review has included the Sentencia (English translation) issued 14 February 2011and the Clarification (English translation) issued 4 March 2011; selected technical reportsissued by various parties involved in the case; associated environmental monitoring data;and published information regarding related scientific matters. The documents I haveconsidered are listed in Attachment B of this report. The key findings of my evaluation includethe following:
1) A health risk assessment using data collected during the Judicial Inspectionprocess has shown that local residents are not exposed to unsafe concentrationsof hydrocarbons or metals within the former Concession area:
A health risk assessment is the proper scientific method for evaluation of potentialhealth risks associated with constituents such as petroleum hydrocarbons or metalspresent in the environment.
For the former Concession area, the health risk assessment submitted to theEcuadorian Court in 2008 and updated in 2010 found that “conditions resulting inexposure of local residents to unsafe concentrations of hydrocarbons or metals do notexist within the former Concession area” (McHugh, 2008; Connor, 2010). This is theonly health risk assessment submitted to the Ecuadorian Court, yet it is not discussedin the Sentencia.2)
The Sentencia’s conclusions regarding health impacts within the former Concession area are not supported by the scientific evidence in the record
In evaluating health impacts within the former Concession area, the Sentenciaignores the absence of unsafe concentrations of potentially toxic petroleumconstituents.• In evaluating health impacts within the former Concession area, the Sentenciaignores results indicating no unsafe exposure to potentially toxic petroleumconstituents.• In evaluating health impacts within the former Concession area, the Sentencia relieson anecdotal statements and other information supplied by the Lago Agrio Plaintiffsand local residents that are inconsistent with the scientific evidence.I have reached the opinions in this report to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty. Icontinue to review available information, and I reserve the right to supplement this report or