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Bhopal Gas Tragedy Information

In the early hours of December 3,1984, methylisocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from a plant owned,
managed and operated by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) in the central India city of Bhopal.
According to government figures, approximately 5,200 people died and several thousand other
individuals suffered permanent or partial disabilities. Click here to view the 2006 affidavit of the
Union of India in the Supreme Court.
A great deal has been written and/or broadcast about the tragedy in the past 31 years, some of it
factual, but much of it inaccurate or misleading. The information presented on this website is
supported by facts and documentation, and will help those seeking information gain an accurate
and balanced perspective of the Bhopal tragedy and Union Carbide's (UCC) efforts.

Union Carbide Statement Regarding The Tragedy


The 1984 gas leak in Bhopal was a terrible tragedy that continues to evoke strong emotions even
31 years later. In the wake of the gas release, UCC and its then-chairman Warren Anderson
worked diligently to provide aid to the victims and attempted to set up a process to resolve their
claims. All claims arising out of the release were settled in 1989 at the explicit direction and with
the approval of the Supreme Court of India by means of a settlement agreement between the
Government of India (GOI) and UCC and UCIL. In 1991, and again in 2007, the Supreme Court
upheld the fairness and adequacy of the settlement in response to court challenges from nongovernmental organizations.
The Bhopal plant was owned and operated by UCIL, an Indian company in which UCC held just
over half the stock. Other stockholders included Indian financial institutions and thousands of
private investors in India. UCIL designed, built, managed and operated the plant using Indian
consultants and workers. In 1994, UCC sold its entire stake in UCIL to Mcleod Russel India
Limited of Calcutta, and UCIL was renamed Eveready Industries India Limited (EIIL). As a result
of the sale of its shares in UCIL, UCC retained no interest in the Bhopal site. With the approval of
the India Supreme Court, the proceeds of the UCIL sale were placed in a trust and exclusively
used to fund a hospital in Bhopal, which now provides specialist care to victims of the tragedy.
Because the government closed off the site from any and all operations following the gas
release, UCIL was only able to undertake clean-up work in the years just prior to the UCC's sale
of its stock in 1994, and spent some $2 million on that effort. The central and state government
authorities approved, monitored and directed every step of the clean-up work. Following the sale,
we understand that EIIL continued some clean-up work. In 1998, the Madhya Pradesh State
Government (MPSG), which owned and had been leasing the property to EIIL -- and still owns
the property today -- cancelled EIIL's lease, took over the facility and assumed all accountability
for the site, including the completion of any additional remediation. The media reported that a trial
incineration of some waste from the Bhopal plant site was conducted in August 2015. For
additional information, please see the page on this site entitled "Remediation (Clean Up) of the
Bhopal Plant Site." Specific questions regarding that work, or any other site remediation work,

are best directed to Madhya Pradesh State Government and/or the Central Pollution Control
Board (CPCB).
Late in 1986, Union Carbide filed a lengthy court document in India detailing the findings of its
scientific and legal investigations into the cause of the gas release. Click here to view the
Jackson Browning Report.
Engineering consulting firm, Arthur D. Little, Inc., conducted a thorough investigation and
reached the same conclusion. Click here to view the Arthur D. Little Report.
Please see "Cause of the Bhopal Tragedy" pages on this website for complete details.
Together with the rest of the chemical industry, Union Carbide has worked to develop and
globally implement Responsible Care to help prevent such an event in the future by improving
process safety standards, community awareness and emergency preparedness, as well as
protecting workers and communities by working with governmental bodies to assure that industry
best practices are implemented through regulations.
For more information about Responsible Care, see www.responsiblecare.com or www.iccachem.org.

Union Carbide's Response to the Tragedy and the Settlement.


In the wake of the release, Union Carbide Corporation publicly accepted moral responsibility for
the tragedy. Details may be found here on the immediate aid Union Carbide provided to the
victims.
Cause of the Bhopal Tragedy.
Details may be found here on Union Carbide's investigation into the tragedy.
History of Union Carbide India Limited
UCIL was a diversified manufacturing company incorporated in 1934. For details on its 60-year
history, please see these pages.
Bhopal Plant History and Ownership
Details on the plant's history and the roles that the MPSG and the India central government
played in its development and operations may be found here.
Remediation (Clean Up) of the Bhopal Plant Site
Details about what remediation UCIL was able to perform and when that work was done, as well
as any work undertaken since the MPSG took control of the site in 1998, may be found here.
Bhopal Litigation in the U.S.
American personal injury lawyers who had gone to Bhopal brought civil litigation in the U.S.
against UCC within days of the disaster. Information on that civil litigation, as well as on the class
action lawsuits subsequently filed, may be found here.
Bhopal Litigation in India
Information on the civil and criminal litigation, as well as on the GOI's curative petition and the
Public Interest Litigation, may be found here.

Environmental Studies of the Bhopal Plant Site


The Bhopal plant closed after the 1984 methylisocyanate (MIC) gas release and never resumed
normal operations. A chronological overview of the various studies undertaken up until 1998,
when the MPSG took control of the site, may be found here.
Reports, Studies, UCC Opinions and Court Decisions
Research reports and court rulings that provide additional information and insight with regard to
the tragedy in Bhopal, India, may be found here.
Contact Information for Bhopal Information Center
Details on how to contact the Bhopal Information Center appear on this page.

Responsible Care is a registered service mark of the American Chemistry Council, Inc.

Union Carbide's Response Efforts


To the Tragedy and the Settlement
Print

In the early hours of December 3,1984, methylisocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from a plant owned,
managed and operated by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) in the central India city of Bhopal.
According to government figures, approximately 5,200 people died and several thousand other
individuals suffered permanent or partial disabilities. Click here to view the 2006 affidavit of the
Union of India in the Supreme Court.
A great deal has been written and/or broadcast about the tragedy in the past 31 years, some of it
factual, but much of it inaccurate or misleading. The information presented on this website is
supported by facts and documentation, and will help those seeking information gain an accurate
and balanced perspective of the Bhopal tragedy and Union Carbide's (UCC) efforts.

Union Carbide Statement Regarding The Tragedy


The 1984 gas leak in Bhopal was a terrible tragedy that continues to evoke strong emotions even
31 years later. In the wake of the gas release, UCC and its then-chairman Warren Anderson
worked diligently to provide aid to the victims and attempted to set up a process to resolve their
claims. All claims arising out of the release were settled in 1989 at the explicit direction and with
the approval of the Supreme Court of India by means of a settlement agreement between the
Government of India (GOI) and UCC and UCIL. In 1991, and again in 2007, the Supreme Court
upheld the fairness and adequacy of the settlement in response to court challenges from nongovernmental organizations.
The Bhopal plant was owned and operated by UCIL, an Indian company in which UCC held just
over half the stock. Other stockholders included Indian financial institutions and thousands of
private investors in India. UCIL designed, built, managed and operated the plant using Indian
consultants and workers. In 1994, UCC sold its entire stake in UCIL to Mcleod Russel India
Limited of Calcutta, and UCIL was renamed Eveready Industries India Limited (EIIL). As a result

of the sale of its shares in UCIL, UCC retained no interest in the Bhopal site. With the approval of
the India Supreme Court, the proceeds of the UCIL sale were placed in a trust and exclusively
used to fund a hospital in Bhopal, which now provides specialist care to victims of the tragedy.
Because the government closed off the site from any and all operations following the gas
release, UCIL was only able to undertake clean-up work in the years just prior to the UCC's sale
of its stock in 1994, and spent some $2 million on that effort. The central and state government
authorities approved, monitored and directed every step of the clean-up work. Following the sale,
we understand that EIIL continued some clean-up work. In 1998, the Madhya Pradesh State
Government (MPSG), which owned and had been leasing the property to EIIL -- and still owns
the property today -- cancelled EIIL's lease, took over the facility and assumed all accountability
for the site, including the completion of any additional remediation. The media reported that a trial
incineration of some waste from the Bhopal plant site was conducted in August 2015. For
additional information, please see the page on this site entitled "Remediation (Clean Up) of the
Bhopal Plant Site." Specific questions regarding that work, or any other site remediation work,
are best directed to Madhya Pradesh State Government and/or the Central Pollution Control
Board (CPCB).
Late in 1986, Union Carbide filed a lengthy court document in India detailing the findings of its
scientific and legal investigations into the cause of the gas release. Click here to view the
Jackson Browning Report.
Engineering consulting firm, Arthur D. Little, Inc., conducted a thorough investigation and
reached the same conclusion. Click here to view the Arthur D. Little Report.
Please see "Cause of the Bhopal Tragedy" pages on this website for complete details.
Together with the rest of the chemical industry, Union Carbide has worked to develop and
globally implement Responsible Care to help prevent such an event in the future by improving
process safety standards, community awareness and emergency preparedness, as well as
protecting workers and communities by working with governmental bodies to assure that industry
best practices are implemented through regulations.
For more information about Responsible Care, see www.responsiblecare.com or www.iccachem.org.

Cause of the Bhopal Tragedy


Print
Union Carbide's Investigation
A Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) investigation team arrived in Bhopal within days of the
incident, but could not begin its investigation because the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) had taken control of and sealed the plant; seized control of the plants records; and
prohibited interviews of plant employees on duty the night of the incident. What was known was
that the methylisocyanate (MIC) unit had been shut down six weeks before the incident, and the
MIC storage Tank 610 -- from which the gas was released -- had been isolated at that time.

The UCC team was only permitted to take samples of the residue in Tank 610 and, after several
months of extensive analyses, issued a report in March 1985. UCCs initial investigation showed
that a large volume of water had been introduced into the MIC tank and caused a chemical
reaction that forced the pressure release valve to open and allowed the gas to leak. A committee
of experts, working on behalf of the Indian government, conducted its own investigation and
reached the same conclusion. The incident occurred despite the fact that the system had been
designed and operated to keep out even trace amounts of water and that no water had ever
entered any of the tanks during the five years the plant had been in operation.
Cause Finally Determined
For more than a year, the CBI prohibited interviews with plant employees and denied meaningful
access to plant records. However, in December 1985, a U.S. magistrate ordered the Government
of India (GOI) to provide UCC with copies of plant records that had been seized. Moreover, the
GOI could no longer restrict access to plant employees while it was before a U.S. court seeking
discovery from UCC.
Shortly after the gas release, UCC launched an aggressive effort to identify the cause. With
access to employees and plant records, UCC investigators conducted more than 70 interviews in
India and examined some 70,000 pages of plant records and documentation that the Indian
government had reluctantly released. UCC's follow-up investigation confirmed its initial
conclusion: a large volume of water had been introduced into the MIC tank. This caused a
chemical reaction that forced the pressure release valve to open and allowed the gas to leak.
Some two and a half years after the tragedy, UCC filed a lengthy court document in India
detailing the findings of its scientific and legal investigations: the cause of the disaster was
sabotage. Click here to view the Jackson Browning Report. The UCCs investigation proved with
virtual certainty that the disaster was caused by the direct entry of water into Tank 610 through a
hose connected to the tank.
All of this was supported by hard evidence set forth in the presentation made by Ashok S.
Kalelkar of Arthur D. Little, Inc. at The Institution of Chemical Engineers Conference on
Preventing Major Chemical Accidents. Click here to view the Arthur D. Little Report. Early
accounts of the disaster that focused on the GOIs theory that water-washing caused the accident
subsequently were disproved.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Cause of the


Bhopal Gas Tragedy
1. What caused the gas leak?
A. Shortly after the gas release, UCC launched an aggressive effort to identify the cause. An
initial investigation by UCC showed that a large volume of water had been introduced into the
MIC tank. This caused a chemical reaction that forced the pressure release valve to open and
allowed the gas to leak. A committee of experts working on behalf of the Indian government
conducted its own investigation and reached the same conclusion.

Some two and a half years after the tragedy, and only after the Indian government's reluctant
release of some 70,000 pages of documentation, UCC filed a lengthy court document in India
detailing the findings of its scientific and legal investigations: the cause of the disaster was
undeniably sabotage. Click here to view the Jackson Browning Report. UCCs investigation
proved with virtual certainty that the disaster was caused by the direct entry of water into Tank
610 through a hose connected to the tank.
All of this was supported by hard evidence set forth in the presentation made by Ashok S.
Kalelkar of Arthur D. Little, Inc. at The Institution of Chemical Engineers Conference. Click here
to view the Arthur D. Little Report.
2. Who could have sabotaged plant operations and caused the gas leak?
A. Investigations suggest that only an employee with the appropriate skills and knowledge of the
site could have tampered with the tank. An independent investigation by the engineering
consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc., determined that the water could only have been introduced
into the tank deliberately, since process safety systems -- in place and operational -- would have
prevented water from entering the tank by accident.
3. Were the valves faulty on the MIC tanks at the plant?
A. No. In fact, documented evidence gathered after the incident showed that the valve near to the
plant's water-washing operation was closed and leak-tight. Furthermore, process safety systems
-- in place and operational -- would have prevented water from entering the tank by accident.
4. Why didnt the plants safety systems contain the leak?
A. Based on several investigations, the safety systems in place could not have prevented a
chemical reaction of this magnitude from causing a leak. In designing the plant's safety systems,
a chemical reaction of this magnitude was not factored in for two reasons:
1. The tank's gas storage system was designed to prevent such a large amount of water
from being inadvertently introduced into the system; and
2. Process safety systems -- in place and operational -- would have prevented water from
entering the tank by accident.
5. How do you respond to concerns expressed about the technologies used at the plant
prior to the incident?
A. Contrary to allegations made by certain parties in various lawsuits, UCC did not design,
construct or operate the Bhopal plant. And, most importantly, all of the decisions with respect to
the plant and its design, construction, and operation were either made by UCIL or mandated by
GOI policies and directives.
In 1987, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that "UCCs participation was
limited and its involvement in plant operations terminated long before the accident....the UOI
[Union of India] controlled the terms of the agreements and precluded UCC from exercising any
authority to 'detail design, erect and commission the plant,' which was done independently over
the period from 1972 to 1980 by UCIL process design engineers....The preliminary process

design information furnished by UCC could not have been used to construct the plant.
Construction required the detailed process design and engineering data prepared by hundreds of
Indian engineers, process designers and sub-contractors..." Please click here to read the U.S.
Court of Appeals complete 1987 decision.

History of Union Carbide India Limited


Print
The Company
Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) was a diversified manufacturing company incorporated in
1934. Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) became one of the first U.S. companies to invest in
India when UCC acquired shares in UCIL in 1934. Employing approximately 9,000 people at the
height of its business operations, UCIL operated 14 plants in five divisions. UCIL's annual sales
were nearly $200 million and UCIL shares were publicly traded on the Calcutta Stock Exchange,
with UCC owning just over half the shares. The other stockholders included Indian financial
institutions and thousands of private investors in India.
Situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the Bhopal plant was built in 1969 and a
production facility was added in 1979. The plant produced pesticides for use in India to help the
countrys agricultural sector increase its productivity and contribute more significantly to meeting
the food needs of one of the world's most heavily populated regions. The plant never resumed
normal operations after the December 1984 gas leak.
The design, engineering and construction of the Bhopal plant was a UCIL project from beginning
to end. The project took eight years to complete (from 1972 to 1980). It involved hundreds of
Indian engineers and designers from UCIL and major Indian engineering firms, dozens of Indian
subcontractors and thousands of Indian construction workers. UCC did not design, construct or
operate the Bhopal plant. All of the decisions with respect to the plant and its design,
construction, and operation were made either by UCIL or mandated by GOI policies and
directives.
As found by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in its 1987 decision dismissing the
Bhopal gas disaster litigation in the U.S.: In short, the plant has been constructed and managed
by Indians in India. The Court found that UCCs participation was limited and its involvement in
plant operations terminated long before the [1984] accident. With respect to alleged pollution at
the Bhopal plant site, the Second Circuit Court concluded in its 2013 decision that individuals
living near the Bhopal plant may well have suffered terrible and lasting injuries from the wholly
preventable disaster for which someone is responsible. After nine years of contentious litigation
and discovery, however, all that the evidence in this case demonstrates that UCC is not that
entity.
In 1994, UCC sold its entire stake in UCIL to Mcleod Russel India Limited of Calcutta, which
renamed the company Eveready Industries India Limited (EIIL) -- a company that continues to
exist today as one of Indias leading battery and flashlight manufacturers. The proceeds from the

UCIL sale -- some $90 million -- were placed in a trust and exclusively used to fund a hospital in
Bhopal to provide specialist care to victims of the tragedy.
In 1998, the Madhya Pradesh State Government (MPSG), which owned and had been leasing
the property to EIIL, cancelled the lease, took over the facility and assumed all accountability for
the site, including the completion of any remediation. Click here to view the MPSG press release.

Frequently Asked Questions about Union Carbide


India Limited
1. Who owned the Bhopal plant at the time of the incident and who owns it now?
A. The Bhopal plant was designed, built, owned and operated by UCIL, an Indian company in
which UCC held just over half of the stock. Indian financial institutions and thousands of private
investors in India held the rest of the stock. In 1994, UCC sold its entire interest in UCIL to
Mcleod Russel India Limited, which renamed the company Eveready Industries India Limited
(EIIL). In 1998, the MPSG, which owns and had been leasing the property to EIIL, took over the
facility and assumed all accountability for the site, including the completion of any additional
remediation.
In 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit concluded that UCC was not the entity
responsible for any environmental pollution resulting from operation of the UCIL plant prior to the
disaster. The Second Circuit concluded: "[M]any others living near the Bhopal plant may well
have suffered terrible and lasting injuries from a wholly preventable disaster for which someone is
responsible. After nine years of contentious litigation and discovery, however, all that the
evidence in this case demonstrates is that UCC is not that entity". To view the entire ruling by the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, please click here.
2. Did UCIL abandon the Bhopal plant after the gas leak?
A. No. After the incident, UCIL completed one of the most single important remediation activities
-- the transformation and removal of tens of thousands of pounds of methylisocyanate (MIC) from
the plant. Click here and see page 7, in the Jackson Browning Report. The plant never resumed
normal operations after the 1984 gas tragedy and, in the following years, the Indian government
severely restricted access to the site. UCIL was only able to undertake clean-up work in the years
just prior to the sale, and spent some $2 million on that effort, which included beginning
construction of a secure landfill to hold the wastes from two solar evaporation ponds on site. The
central and state government authorities in India approved, monitored and directed every step of
the clean-up work.
3. What is the status of remediation now?
A. We understand that after UCC sold its stock in UCIL in 1994, EIIL continued the clean-up work
and completed the construction of the secure landfill on site. In 1998, the MPSG, which owned
and had been leasing the property to EIIL, took over the facility and assumed all accountability
for the site, including the completion of any additional remediation.

In 2004, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed and is currently before the State of Madhya
Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur. One of the claims made in the litigation -- against the Union of
India, the State of Madhya Pradesh and private companies allegedly responsible -- seeks
remediation of the plant site. (UCC is not involved in that litigation.) For additional information on
this 2004 PIL, please see Alok Pratap Singh vs. UOI: Madhya Pradesh High Court in the
Bhopal Litigation in India section of this website.
The media reported in 2007 that the Supreme Court of India had directed the central and state
governments to pay for collection of waste on the site and to have it landfilled or incinerated, as
appropriate. While some of the waste had been landfilled, public interest groups again
challenged the Court's incineration directive, as did the states where waste incineration facilities
were located.
However, in 2012, the Supreme Court selected the Pithampur waste treatment storage and
disposal facility (TSDF) in Madhya Pradeshs Dhar district as the most suitable facility for
incinerating the waste. Though environmental NGOs claimed the facility failed to meet desired
safety parameters, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) submitted an affidavit in 2014
verifying the suitability of the facility to carry out the incineration.
According to The Indian Express, 10 tons of trial waste were transferred to the site in July 2015
and the trial incineration was conducted over a five-day period in mid-August. Operated by the
Ramky Group Company, the TSDF was monitored by the CPCB, as well as private firms CVR
Labs of Chennai and Vimta Lab of Hyderabad. The Express reported that officials associated
with the trial said the levels of emissions and ambient air quality from the burning was within
permissible limits, with the air quality being monitored at three locations in and around the facility,
including a station representing Tarpura village adjacent to the facility.
The full report on the trial incineration results will be submitted to the Supreme Court, which will
decide on how the rest of the waste at the site will be handled, said The Express, which also
noted that officials expect the remaining waste (some 335 tons) to be burnt at the same place,
using the same technology and the same control parameters.

Bhopal Plant History and Ownership


Print
Bhopal Plant
Union Carbide India Limited's (UCIL) Bhopal plant was a vast chemical complex containing miles
of complicated piping and hundreds of specialized reactors, pressure vessels, heat exchangers
and other equipment and employed more than 1,000 workers. The plant began operations in the
late 1960s on a site leased from the Madhya Pradesh State Government (MPSG), which selected
the location.

At the time, the area surrounding the site was removed from the city and very lightly populated.
However, in the ensuing the years, the authorities encouraged thousands of people to settle near
the plant and distributed pattas granting land rights to the hutment dwellers around the factory.
At the time of the gas release, the plant site contained about 55 acres, and an additional, noncontiguous 35-acre site, also leased from MPSG, was utilized for solar evaporation ponds
(SEPs). On July 7, 1998, the MPSG terminated the leases of the plant site and SEPs. Click here
to view the MPSG press release.
Design and Construction of the Plant
The design, engineering and construction of the Bhopal plant was a UCIL project from beginning
to end and took eight years to complete (1972-1980). The project involved hundreds of Indian
engineers and designers from UCIL and major Indian engineering firms, dozens of Indian
subcontractors and thousands of Indian construction workers.
Contrary to allegations made by certain parties, Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) did not
design, construct or operate the Bhopal plant. And, most importantly, all of the decisions with
respect to the plant and its design, construction, and operation were either made by UCIL or
mandated by Government of Indian (GOI) policies and directives. (See 1987 Court of Appeals
Ruling below.) At the insistence of the GOI, UCCs role in the project was very narrow and
contractually defined.
Pursuant to an arms-length contract with UCIL, which required GOI approval, UCC
provided process design packages for the phosgene, methylisocyanate (MIC) and Sevin units
(although UCIL decided not to use UCCs Sevin process). The process design packages that
UCC provided were nothing more than design starting points; they provided only general
parameters -- such as the composition and flows of chemicals, temperatures, working pressures,
certain information on materials of construction and the like. A plant cannot be constructed from
process design packages.
In the years after UCILs receipt of UCCs process designs, UCIL made a vast number of choices,
trade-offs and changes during the detail design, engineering and construction of the plant, and
UCCs process designs were changed in innumerable ways to suit UCILs operating philosophy
and local conditions. UCC had no further design role. Much of the technology for the Bhopal
plant was developed by UCIL itself (the naphthol process and Sevin process) or acquired from
Stauffer Chemical Corporation (the carbon monoxide process). Furthermore, UCIL decided not to
use UCCs Sevin process and developed its own.

1987 U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2 Circuit


Rules
UCC Did Not Design, Construct or Operate
Bhopal Plant
nd

In a 1984 case, plaintiffs sought to prove that the Bhopal accident was caused by negligence on
the part of UCC in originally contributing to the design of the plant and its provision for storage of
excessive amounts of the gas at the plant. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in
1987 upheld a lower court's ruling that "UCCs participation was limited and its involvement in
plant operations terminated long before the accident.
"Under 1973 agreements negotiated at arms-length with UCIL, UCC did provide a summary
'process design package' for construction of the plant and the services of some of its technicians
to monitor the progress of UCIL in detailing the design and erecting the plant. However, the UOI
[Union of India] controlled the terms of the agreements and precluded UCC from exercising any
authority to 'detail design, erect and commission the plant,' which was done independently over
the period from 1972 to 1980 by UCIL process design engineers who supervised, among many
others, some 55 to 60 Indian engineers employed by the Bombay engineering firm of Humphreys
and Glasgow.
"The preliminary process design information furnished by UCC could not have been used to
construct the plant. Construction required the detailed process design and engineering data
prepared by hundreds of Indian engineers, process designers and sub-contractors. During the 10
years spent constructing the plant, its design and configuration underwent many changes." Click
here to view the Court of Appeals decision -- Union Carbide Corporation Gas Plant Disaster at
Bhopal, India.
Back-integration
The plant began operations in 1969 as a formulations plant; that is, UCIL imported the chemical
carbaryl from UCC, formulated it into the insecticide brand products (such as Sevin and Temik)
and sold the formulated products to distributors in India. The formulation process did not involve
the manufacture of any chemicals, such as MIC, by UCIL in India. Rather, the imported carbaryl
was combined with other materials to make various end products.
That arrangement benefited UCIL because it was able to sell the formulated insecticide to a
growing agricultural market in India without having to make the large capital investment
necessary to build a major chemical plant. However, from the time UCIL first began to import
carbaryl from UCC's plant in Institute, WVA, the GOI pressured UCIL to back-integrate; that is,
to build a chemical plant capable of manufacturing carbaryl from indigenous raw material, in
order to save the foreign exchange paid for those imports. The mechanism to enforce backintegration was the GOIs control over import licenses. To import carbaryl into India, the GOI
required UCIL to obtain annually a license that included a condition that UCIL develop and
implement plans to build a fully back-integrated chemical plant in India, which included the

manufacture of MIC. UCILs choice: either back-integrate or abandon the sizable market it had
developed for insecticides in India.
In 1977, UCIL started the Sevin unit and ceased importation of carbaryl. From 1977-1980,
carbaryl was produced in the Sevin unit from MIC and naphthol imported from Institute in 55gallon drums. The MIC unit started in February 1980 and importation of MIC ceased. From
1980-1984, the only material imported into the plant from the U.S. was naphthol. (UCIL
completed a naphthol unit in 1977, but all attempts to operate it were unsuccessful, so the
importation continued from the U.S.)
The Government of Indias (GOI) Role
Laws, regulations and policies generated by the GOI and MPSG permeated every aspect of the
Bhopal facility from its inception. No action of any significance was taken without the approval of
the GOI or MPSG.
The GOI required UCIL to maximize Indian involvement in the design, procurement, construction
and operation of the plant and to minimize foreign involvement of any kind. The GOI restricted
the use of imported materials and foreign consultants, and, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit confirmed in 1987, "precluded UCC from exercising any authority to detail design,
erect and commission the plant.'"
The GOI closely monitored the progress of the plant, required detailed periodic reports and
approved plans and drawings, including the MIC manufacturing facility and storage tanks, as well
as the UCIL-designed waste disposal systems for the treatment and disposal of wastes, which
also were approved by the MPSG authorities. The thrust of numerous GOI policies was to
completely Indianize the project.
In short:

The plant had been constructed and managed by Indians in India.

No Americans were employed at the plant at the time of the accident. From 1980-84,
more than 1,000 Indians were employed at the plant -- but only one American was
employed there and he left in 1982.

No Americans visited the plant for more than one year prior to the incident. And,

During the 5-year period before, communications between the plant and the U.S. were
almost non-existent.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit


Rules in 2013 Decision
That UCC Not Responsible for Any
Environmental Pollutions at Bhopal Site
In 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reached a similar conclusion that UCC
was not the entity responsible for any environmental pollution resulting from operation of the
UCIL plant prior to the disaster. UCIL designed the waste disposal system for the treatment and
disposal of wastes, which was approved by the Madhya Pradesh State Government authorities.
The Second Circuit concluded "...[M]any others living near the Bhopal plant may well have
suffered terrible and lasting injuries from a wholly preventable disaster for which someone is
responsible. After nine years of contentious litigation and discovery, however, all that the
evidence in this case demonstrates is that UCC is not that entity". Click here to view the entire
ruling by the Court of Appeals.

Frequently Asked Questions About UCIL Ownership


of the Bhopal Plant
1. Who owned the Bhopal plant at the time of the incident and who owns it now?
A. The Bhopal plant was owned and operated by UCIL, an Indian company in which UCC held
just over half of the stock. Indian financial institutions and thousands of private investors in India
held the rest of the stock. In 1994, UCC sold its entire interest in UCIL to Mcleod Russel India
Limited, which renamed the company Eveready Industries India Limited (EIIL). In 1998, the
MPSG, which owns and had been leasing the property to EIIL, canceled the lease; took over the
facility; and assumed all accountability for the site, including the completion of any additional
remediation.
2. Did UCIL abandon the Bhopal plant after the gas leak?
A. No. UCIL, an Indian company, managed and operated the Bhopal plant at the time of the gas
leak. After the incident, UCIL completed one of the most single important remediation activities.
Known as "Operation Faith", the initiative transformed and removed tens of thousands of pounds
of methylisocyanate (MIC) from the plant. Click here to see page 7 in the Jackson Browning
Report. In the years following the tragedy, the Indian government severely restricted access to
the site. UCIL was only able to undertake clean-up work in the years just prior to the sale, and
spent some $2 million on that effort, which included beginning construction of a secure landfill to
hold the wastes from two solar evaporation ponds on site. The central and state government
authorities in India approved, monitored and directed every step of the clean-up work.
We understand that, after the sale of UCIL stock in 1994, EIIL continued the clean-up work and
completed the construction of the secure landfill on site. In 1998, the MPSG, which owns and had
been leasing the property to Eveready, canceled the lease; took over the facility; and assumed all
accountability for the site, including the completion of any additional remediation.

3. How does UCC respond to the allegations made in court cases through the years that it
was responsible for the design of the technologies employed at the Bhopal plant that led
to the tragedy and resulting on-site and off-site pollution?
A. Contrary to allegations made by certain parties in various lawsuits, UCC did not design,
construct or operate the Bhopal plant. And, most importantly, all of the decisions with respect to
the plant and its design, construction, and operation were either made by UCIL or mandated by
GOI policies and directives.
At the insistence of the GOI, UCCs role in the project was very narrow and contractually defined.
Pursuant to an arms-length contract with UCIL, which required GOI approval, UCC provided
process design packages for several units, but the design packages were nothing more than
design starting points. They provided only general parameters -- such as the composition and
flows of chemicals, temperatures, working pressures, certain information on materials of
construction and the like. A plant cannot be constructed from process design packages. In the
years after UCILs receipt of UCCs process designs, UCIL made a vast number of choices,
trade-offs and changes during the detail design, engineering and construction of the plant, and
UCCs process designs were changed in innumerable ways to suit UCILs operating philosophy
and local conditions.
In 1987, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that "UCCs participation was
limited and its involvement in plant operations terminated long before the accident....the UOI
[Union of India] controlled the terms of the agreements and precluded UCC from exercising any
authority to 'detail design, erect and commission the plant,'" which was done independently over
the period from 1972 to 1980 by UCIL process design engineers....The preliminary process
design information furnished by UCC could not have been used to construct the plant.
Construction required the detailed process design and engineering data prepared by hundreds of
Indian engineers, process designers and sub-contractors..." Click here to view the entire ruling by
the Court of Appeals -- Union Carbide Corporation Gas Plant Disaster at Bhopal, India.
Subsequently, in 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld U.S. District
Court Judge John F. Keenans comprehensive decision of June 2012 in the Sahu vs. Union
Carbide Corporation case. Judge Keenan had unambiguously concluded that UCC is not liable
for any environmental remediation or pollution-related claims made by residents near the Bhopal
plant site in India; dismissed all claims against UCC and former Chairman Warren Anderson; and
ruled that UCC had no liability related to the plant site. The Second Circuit concluded "...[M]any
others living near the Bhopal plant may well have suffered terrible and lasting injuries from a
wholly preventable disaster for which someone is responsible. After nine years of contentious
litigation and discovery, however, all that the evidence in this case demonstrates is that UCC is
not that entity". Click here to view complete 2013 court decision.

Remediation (Clean Up) of the Bhopal Plant


Site
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Status of the Former UCIL Plant Site


The Bhopal plant closed after the 1984 methylisocyanate (MIC) gas release and never resumed
normal operations. While the Bhopal gas release litigation was in progress, no steps could be
taken to remediate the site because the MIC unit was considered by the Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) as evidence in the criminal case. All activity at the site was closely monitored
and controlled by the CBI, the Indian courts and the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board
(MPPCB).
UCIL was finally permitted to undertake clean-up work in the years just prior to the sale of its
stock by UCC in 1994, and spent some $2 million on that effort, which included beginning
construction of a secure landfill to hold the wastes from two on-site solar evaporation ponds. The
central and state government authorities approved, monitored and directed every step of the
clean-up work. Following the sale, it appears that UCIL, now renamed Eveready Industries India
Limited (EIIL), continued some clean-up work and completed the construction of the secure
landfill on the site. In 1998, the Madhya Pradesh State Government (MPSG), which owned and
had been leasing the property to EIIL, cancelled the lease; took over the facility; and assumed all
accountability for the site, including the completion of any additional remediation.Click here to
view the MPSG press release.
According to media reports, court-ordered remediation efforts directed at the government entities
have proceeded slowly. Furthermore, proposals made by private companies have similarly been
questioned or rejected. For example, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) protested against
and blocked remediation attempts by those who offered to help raise funds for clean up or to
conduct pro-bono remediation. The disposal of the waste has consistently proved to be a nonstarter, and was further hindered after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Madhya
Pradesh High Court in 2004. (UCC is not involved in that litigation.)
The media reported in 2007 that the Supreme Court of India had directed the central and state
governments to pay for collection of waste on the site and to have it landfilled or incinerated, as
appropriate. While some of the waste had been landfilled, public interest groups again
challenged the Court's incineration directive, as did the states where waste incineration facilities
were located.
However, in 2012, the Supreme Court selected the Pithampur waste treatment storage and
disposal facility (TSDF) in Madhya Pradeshs Dhar district as the most suitable facility for
incinerating the waste. Though environmental NGOs claimed the facility failed to meet desired
safety parameters, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) submitted an affidavit in 2014
verifying the suitability of the facility to carry out the incineration.
According to The Indian Express, 10 tons of trial waste were transferred to the site in July 2015
and the trial incineration was conducted over a five-day period in mid-August. Operated by the
Ramky Group Company, the TSDF was monitored by the CPCB, as well as private firms CVR
Labs of Chennai and Vimta Lab of Hyderabad. The Express reported that officials associated
with the trial said the levels of emissions and ambient air quality from the burning were within
permissible limits, with the air quality being monitored at three locations in and around the facility,
including a station representing Tarpura village adjacent to the facility.

The full report on the trial incineration results will be submitted to the Supreme Court, which will
decide on how the rest of the waste at the site will be handled, said The Express, which also
noted that officials expect the remaining waste (some 335 tons) to be burnt at the same place,
using the same technology and the same control parameters.

Frequently Asked Questions About Remediation of


the Bhopal Plant Site
1. Did UCIL abandon the Bhopal plant after the gas leak?
A. No. UCIL, an Indian company, managed and operated the Bhopal plant from its startup to the
time of the gas leak. After the incident, UCIL completed an important remediation activity -- the
transformation and removal of tens of thousands of pounds of MIC from the plant. In the years
following the tragedy, the Indian government severely restricted access to the site. UCIL was
permitted to undertake clean-up work only in the years just prior to the Union Carbide sale of its
UCIL stock, and spent some $2 million on that effort, which included beginning construction of a
secure landfill to hold the wastes from two, on-site solar evaporation ponds. The central and state
government authorities in India approved, monitored and directed every step of the clean-up
work.
It appears that after the sale of UCIL stock in 1994, the renamed UCIL -- now called Eveready
Industries India Limited (EIIL) -- continued the clean-up work and completed the construction of
the secure landfill on the site. In 1998, the MPSG, which owned and had been leasing the
property to EIIL, took over the facility and assumed all accountability for the site, including the
completion of any additional remediation.
The media reported that a trial incineration of some waste from the Bhopal plant site was
conducted in August 2015. Specific questions regarding this or any other remediation work are
best directed to the Madhya Pradesh State Government and/or the Central Pollution Control
Board (CPCB).
2. Is there groundwater contamination at the site?
A. According to media reports, various groups have made assessments of the groundwater
quality at the Bhopal site through the years, including a recent effort supervised by the State of
Madhya Pradesh. For an overview of those studies, please see "Environmental Studies of the
Bhopal Plant Site" on this website. Specific questions regarding these issues are best addressed
by the organizations that conducted the studies and/or the Madhya Pradesh State Government.
3. Did the gas leak contaminate the groundwater and soil outside the plant?
A. No. Indian government authorities have publicly and repeatedly confirmed that no
contamination of soil or groundwater outside the plant walls resulted from the MIC gas leak.
4. Did the day-to-day operations of the plant contaminate the groundwater or soil outside
the plant?
A. A report issued by the India's National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI)
in 1997 found soil contamination within the factory premises at three major areas that had been

used as chemical disposal and treatment areas. However, the study found no evidence of
groundwater contamination outside the plant and concluded that local water-wells were not
affected by plant disposal activities. UCC sold its stock in UCIL in 1994, and the state
government took over responsibility for the site in 1998. If groundwater outside the plant is now
contaminated after this length of time, it cannot under any circumstances be the responsibility of
UCC.
Specific questions regarding these issues are best directed to organizations that have conducted
environmental studies and the Madhya Pradesh State Government. For an overview of
environmental studies, please see Environmental Studies of the Bhopal Plant Site on this
website.
5. What remediation work has been performed at the site?
A. Because the government closed off the site from any and all operations following the gas
release, UCIL was only able to undertake additional clean-up work in the years just prior to the
1994 sale and spent some $2 million on that effort, which included beginning construction of a
secure landfill to hold the wastes from two, on-site solar evaporation ponds. The central and state
government authorities in India approved, monitored and directed every step of the clean-up
work. We understand that, after UCC sold its stock in UCIL in 1994, the renamed company -EIIL -- continued the clean-up work at the site and completed the construction of the secure
landfill on the site. In 1998, the MPSG, which owned and had been leasing the property to EIIL,
cancelled the lease; took over the facility; and assumed all accountability for the site, including
the completion of any additional remediation.
The media reported that a trial incineration of some waste from the Bhopal plant site was
conducted in August 2015. Specific questions regarding this or any other remediation work are
best directed to the Madhya Pradesh State Government and/or the Central Pollution Control
Board (CPCB).
6. Why shouldnt UCC be responsible for the Bhopal site clean-up under the polluter
pays principle?
A. UCC did not own or operate the site. If the court responsible for directing clean-up efforts
ultimately applies the "polluter pays" principle to a corporation, it would seem that legal
responsibility would fall to UCIL (now called EIIL), which leased the land, operated the site and
was a separate, publicly traded Indian company when the Bhopal tragedy occurred. In 1994,
UCC sold its interest in UCIL with the approval of the Indian Supreme Court. EIIL remains a
viable company today. The fact that UCC was not responsible for the operation of the Bhopal site
was considered by the U.S. courts and confirmed. In 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit concluded that UCC was not the entity responsible for any environmental
pollution resulting from operation of the UCIL plant. The Second Circuit concluded, "[M]any
others living near the Bhopal plant may well have suffered terrible and lasting injuries from a
wholly preventable disaster for which someone is responsible. After nine years of contentious
litigation and discovery, however, all that the evidence in this case demonstrates is that UCC is
not that entity.

7. What about claims of contaminated groundwater outside the plant contaminating the
adjoining region?
A. While we are aware of conflicting claims being made by various groups and reported in the
media, we have no first-hand knowledge of what chemicals, if any, may remain at the site and
what impact, if any they may be having on area groundwater.
It is important to note, however, that a 1998 study of drinking-water sources near the plant site by
the MPPCB found some contamination that likely was caused by improper drainage of water and
other sources of environmental pollution. The Control Board did not find any traces of chemicals
linked to chemicals formerly used at the UCIL plant. Further, The Hindustan Times reported on
April 29, 2006, that "A study by the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH),
Ahmedabad, has virtually debunked voluntary organisations' fear about contamination of water in
and around Union Carbide plant." We believe it is important for the MPSG to complete the
remediation of the plant site. The state is in the best position to evaluate all scientific information
that is available and make the right decision for Bhopal.
Specific questions regarding these issues are best directed to organizations that have conducted
environmental studies and the MPSG. For an overview of environmental studies, please see
Environmental Studies of the Bhopal Plant Site on this website.
8. What is the status of litigation against UCC regarding remediation of the site and/or
paying damages for the effects of pollution?
A. Two lawsuits filed in New York federal court in 2004 and 2007 have focused on site
remediation and compensation for residents related to the alleged impact of pollution. In June
2012, a federal court unambiguously concluded in the first of these cases, Janki Bai Sahu et al.
v. UCC, that neither UCC nor its former Chairman Warren Anderson are liable for any
environmental remediation or pollution-related personal injury claims made by residents near the
Bhopal plant site. In June 2013, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld
the 2012 court decision, stating: "[M]any others living near the Bhopal plant may well have
suffered terrible and lasting injuries from a wholly preventable disaster for which someone is
responsible. After nine years of contentious litigation and discovery, however, all that the
evidence in this case demonstrates is that UCC is not that entity".
A separate case filed in 2007 in New York District Court -- Jagarnath Sahu et al. v. UCC -- seeks
damages to clean up properties allegedly polluted by contaminants from the Bhopal plant. This
suit, which had been stayed pending resolution of appeals in the Janki Bai Sahu case, is the last
remaining Bhopal-related case before U.S. courts. UCC moved for summary judgment in this
case and on July 30, 2014, the District Court dismissed this case essentially on the same basis
as the earlier-filed Sahu case. Plaintiffs appeal is pending.
Other pollution-related litigation is pending in India against various parties in the Madhya Pradesh
High Court and the India Supreme Court. For additional information, please see "Bhopal
Litigation in the U.S." and "Bhopal Litigation in India" pages on this website.

Bhopal Litigation in the U.S.

Print
Initial Cases
Within days of the disaster, American personal injury lawyers who had gone to Bhopal brought
civil litigation in the U.S. against Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). The cases were first brought
on behalf of individual claimants by the U.S. lawyers and later by the Government of India (GOI)
as statutory representative of all claimants under the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act passed by
the Indian Parliament in early 1985. The cases were consolidated in New York before U.S.
District Judge John F. Keenan.
UCC moved to dismiss the litigation on the grounds of forum non conveniens; this is, it asked the
court to dismiss the case because another court, or forum, in this case, India, was much better
suited to hear the case. Judge Keenan granted the motion in May 1986 on the condition that
UCC accept the civil jurisdiction of the Indian courts to hear the cases, which UCC accepted. The
dismissal was affirmed on appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review it.
Class Action Lawsuits
Between 1999 and 2007, three class action lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York against UCC and former UCC Chairman Warren M. Anderson:

The Bano case was filed in November 1999 -- eight years after the settlement between
UCC and the GOI was upheld by the Supreme Court of India. The Bano plaintiffs
attempted to avoid the preclusive effect of the settlement with the GOI by alleging
violations of international law and that UCC and Mr. Anderson had failed to appear in
criminal proceedings in India, which they alleged was required by UCCs consent to
jurisdiction as a condition to dismissal of the U.S. litigation and the Supreme Court of
Indias judgment upholding the settlement. The case was assigned to Judge John F.
Keenan.
In January 2000 -- after the publication of a 1999 Greenpeace report concerning pollution
at the former UCIL plant site -- the Bano plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding
environmental pollution claims unrelated to 1984 gas leak. The amended complaint
alleged property damage in 16 colonies near the plant site as a result of groundwater
pollution caused by the operation of the UCIL plant and also added Haseena Bi as a
plaintiff, claiming personal injury and property damage from the alleged contamination.
For the next six years, the case and various appeals by the Bano plaintiffs were argued
before both the District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit,
respectively. Finally, in August 2006, the Court of Appeals affirmed the last of Judge
Keenans rulings, ending the litigation.
Key rulings by Judge Keenan in the Bano case that were upheld by the Court of
Appeals included:
o

Plaintiffs lacked standing to sue with respect to the Bhopal gas disaster since the
GOI was the exclusive representative of the victims under the Bhopal Act.

Plaintiffs claims were barred by the settlement with the GOI.

UCC did not violate his order to consent to the civil jurisdiction of the Indian
courts, which was imposed as a condition to the dismissal of earlier litigation in
the United States based upon the 1984 gas release on the grounds of forum non
conveniens, by not appearing in the criminal case in India.

UCC did not agree to criminal jurisdiction in India when the civil settlement was
upheld by the Supreme Court of India and the criminal case was allowed to
proceed.

Dismissal of environmental pollution claims.

Dismissal of plaintiff Bi's personal injury and property damages claims.

Dismissal of claims seeking the remediation of the UCIL plant site.

Dismissal of claims for property damage, injunctive relief and class-action


certification.

For the complete opinion of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, please click here.
For Union Carbide's statement on this ruling, please click here.

Remediation and Plant Site Pollution Litigation

The Janki Bai Sahu case -- filed in November 2004 -- alleged personal injuries caused
by pollution from the former UCIL plant site. The case, known as Sahu I, was brought by
13 individuals on behalf of themselves, family members and others similarly situated, and
also was assigned to Judge Keenan.
For the next eight-plus years, the case and various appeals by the Sahu plaintiffs were
argued before both the Court and U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Second District,
respectively. Finally, in the June, 2013, the Court of Appeals affirmed the last of Judge
Keenans rulings, ending the Sahu I litigation.
Key rulings by Judge Keenan during the Sahu trial that were upheld by the Appeals
Court included:
o

Rejecting plaintiffs direct liability claims that UCC participated in the creation of
the pollution by approving the back-integration of the Bhopal Plant, designing the
Bhopal Plants waste disposal systems, transferring technology to UCIL, by its
knowledge of water pollution risks, and by its intimate participation in
environmental remediation efforts.

Rejecting plaintiffs' argument that the alleged environmental contamination would


not have occurred if UCC had not approved back-integration of the plant, based
on the undisputed fact that UCIL -- acting under pressure from the GOI -- first
proposed back-integration and that UCCs approval did not, as a matter of law,
rise to the level of participation in the creation of pollution.

Rejecting plaintiffs contention that UCC designed the faulty waste disposal
systems installed at the Bhopal plant, holding that the documents [plaintiffs]
cited simply do not establish that UCC was responsible for such design. Judge
Keenan found that UCIL may have consulted UCC about its plans early on, but
UCIL was the ultimate decision maker, so primary responsibility for the design
and construction of the waste disposal system at the Bhopal Plant rested with
UCIL. A memorandum outlining the respective roles of UCC and UCIL states in
no uncertain terms that UCIL will have the primary responsibilities for designing
and providing the facilities for disposal of wastes.

Rejecting plaintiffs argument that UCC was liable because it provided


manufacturing technology to UCIL. Judge Keenan ruled that the generation of
waste does not give rise to liability; rather, disposal of the waste is the issue.

Finding that plaintiffs offered no evidence than any technology provided by UCC
itself was polluting or caused pollution, in and of itself. Judge Keenan
concluded that the evidence demonstrates that the allegedly unproven and
improper technology used at the Bhopal Plant was selected and/or developed by
UCIL, not UCC.

Ruling that [t]he fact that UCC recognized potential waste disposal issues does
not give rise to the extensive liability Plaintiffs suggest. Even if UCC had a duty to
act, as plaintiffs contended, Judge Keenan found that UCC did speak up,
numerous times, making UCIL fully aware of the waste disposal issues.

Agreeing with UCC that UCIL/EIIL is and always has been an adequately
capitalized corporation, negating any inference that UCIL was a dummy or shell
corporation used to carry out business. Indeed, he held that it is uncontested
that EIIL is an independent going concern of adequate capitalization and assets,
negating any inference of abuse of the corporate form.

Finding that the documents plaintiffs relied on to support their contention that
UCC controlled UCIL actually showed that UCIL had discretion which is
completely inconsistent with plaintiffs theory of absolute control. Judge Keenan
concluded that there is a marked lack of evidence of domination.

Asserting there was no individual liability for Mr. Anderson.

Rejecting plaintiffs claims for medical monitoring and remediation on the grounds
that they were impracticable the same grounds on which they were rejected in
the Bano case.

In its last ruling in 2013, the Court of Appeals held:


o

Concerning Direct Liability claims: "...no reasonable juror could find that UCC
participated in the creation of the contaminated drinking water.Neither UCCs
approval of the plan to back-integrate the plant, nor its transfer of technology for
pesticide manufacture, nor its designs for a waste disposal system, nor its limited
involvement in remediation amount to participation in the failure of the
evaporation ponds to contain the hazardous waste."

Sahus negligence claim fails for the same reason as does her nuisance theory
namely that any actions taken by UCC did not legally cause the pollution
complained of.

Regarding plaintiffs Indirect Liability theories, We find no error in the District


Courts legal conclusions and, based upon an independent review of the record,
conclude that no reasonable juror could find for Sahu on any of these theories.

The Court of Appeals concluded: Sahu and many others living near the Bhopal plant may well
have suffered terrible and lasting injuries from a wholly preventable disaster for which someone is
responsible. After nine years of contentious litigation and discovery, however, all that the
evidence in this case demonstrates is that UCC is not that entity.
To view the entire ruling by the Court of Appeals, please click here.

Jagarnath Sahu et al v. UCC and Warren Anderson (aka, Sahu II case) -- After the
Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the Bano action, a second Sahu class action
alleging property damage claims was filed in March 2007. The second Sahu action had
been stayed pending the final appeal in the first Sahu action. Following its resolution, in
July 2014 Judge John Keenan dismissed the Sahu II case and stated that the company
could not be sued for ongoing contamination from the [Bhopal] chemical plant. An appeal
is pending.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Bhopal


Litigation in the U.S.
1. What is the status of U.S. litigation against UCC regarding paying additional
compensation to victims?
A. In 1989, UCC and UCIL entered into a $470 million legal settlement with the Indian
Government, settling all claims arising from the incident. The Indian Supreme Court affirmed the
settlement and described it as "just, equitable and reasonable." UCC and UCIL promptly paid the
money to the GOI. A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in 1999 asserting claims for personal

injuries and property damage arising out the Bhopal gas disaster was dismissed, and the
dismissal was affirmed on appeal.
2. What is the status of U.S. litigation regarding remediation (clean up) of the site?
A. Cases filed in New York Federal court in November 2004, and thereafter, have focused on site
remediation and compensation for residents. In June 2012, a Federal court unambiguously
concluded in the Sahu I case that neither UCC nor its former Chairman Warren Anderson are
liable for any environmental remediation or pollution-related personal injury claims made by
residents near the Bhopal plant site.
However, plaintiffs filed an appeal. In June 2013, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit upheld the 2012 court decision, stating: "...many others living near the Bhopal plant may
well have suffered terrible and lasting injuries from a wholly preventable disaster for which
someone is responsible. After nine years of contentious litigation and discovery, however, all that
the evidence in this case demonstrates is that UCC is not that entity".
A separate case -- Jagarnath Sahu et al v UCC and Warren Anderson (Sahu II) -- filed in 2007 in
New York District Court sought damages to clean up six individual properties allegedly polluted
by contaminants from the Bhopal plant, as well as the remediation of property in 16 colonies
adjoining the plant. This suit, which had been stayed pending resolution of appeals in Janki Bai
Sahu case (Sahu I), was the last remaining Bhopal-related case before U.S. Courts. In July 2014,
Judge Keenan ruled that UCC was not liable for any on-ongoing pollution from the Bhopal
chemical plant. An appeal is pending.
3. Aren't UCC and Mr. Anderson in violation of Judge Keenan's 1986 order that required
them to appear in Indian Courts?
A. No. The American litigation was civil litigation. Judge Keenan's order and UCC's consent
were with respect to civil jurisdiction in India -- not criminal jurisdiction. UCC did litigate and settle
the civil claims arising from the Bhopal tragedy in the Indian civil courts. UCC is not subject to
criminal jurisdiction in India and has not consented to it. UCC and Mr. Anderson were not
required to appear in any criminal matters in India.
As the U.S. Court of Appeals noted in its 2006 decision upholding Judge John Keenan's rulings
in the Bano case, UCC did not violate his order to consent to the civil jurisdiction of the Indian
courts, which was imposed as a condition to the dismissal of earlier litigation in the United States
based upon the 1984 gas release on the grounds of forum non conveniens, by not appearing in
the criminal case in India. For the complete opinion of the Court of Appeals, please click here.

Bhopal Litigation in India


Print

The litigation in India pertaining to the Bhopal tragedy can be broken into four distinct categories:

Civil litigation.

Criminal litigation.

Curative Petition litigation.

Other Civil Proceedings in India: Public Interest Litigation.

For details on each of these categories , please click on the respective link above.

Civil Litigation
Print
In September 1986, the Government of India (GOI) instituted a civil suit against Union Carbide
Corporation (UCC) in the Court of the District Judge, Bhopal, India, on behalf of all victims of the
disaster. In keeping with its consent to jurisdiction given as a condition to dismissal of the U.S.
litigation, UCC appeared and defended itself.
During the next three years, extensive proceedings took place in the suit concerning a variety of
issues, including the issue of interim relief to the victims. When the proceedings eventually
reached the Indian Supreme Court in 1988, the Court urged UCC, Union Carbide India Limited
(UCIL) and the GOI -- in lieu of interim relief -- to reach a final global settlement. In February
1989, after 24 days of hearings, the Supreme Court recommended a $470 million global
settlement that was accepted by UCC, UCIL and the GOI. Ten days after the decision, UCC paid
$425 million and UCIL paid $45 million to the GOI. The settlement resolved the civil litigation and
quashed the criminal proceedings. The Supreme Court subsequently issued a decision
explaining, among other things, how it arrived at the sum of $470 million for an overall settlement
and why it considered the settlement to be just, equitable and reasonable.
In November 1989, Rajiv Gandhis government, which entered into the global settlement with
UCC, was defeated in national elections. The opposition parties formed a coalition government,
which reopened the question of compensation for the gas victims; concluded that the settlement
was wholly inadequate; and instructed the Law Minister to back review petitions brought by
activists in the Supreme Court challenging the settlement.
Three different Constitution Benches of the Supreme Court (i.e., a panel of five senior justices
appointed by the Chief Justice) conducted hearings that went on for 64 days over a period of two
years. In a 117-page decision, dated December 1989, the Supreme Court upheld the
constitutionality of the Bhopal Act and the authority of the GOI to settle on behalf of the victims.
For the complete court decision, please click here.
In October 1991, in a 114-page judgment, the Supreme Court further held that:

The civil settlement was just, equitable and reasonable;

The GOI was required to cover any shortfall in the settlement amount;

The GOI was required to buy medical insurance for 100,000 asymptomatic people;

The criminal case could proceed, and

UCC was requested to fund a hospital in Bhopal for treatment of the victims.

For the complete court decision part 1 please click here.


For the complete court decision part 2 please click here.
Post-1991 Proceedings Regarding the Settlement
Virtually all claims were reviewed and adjudicated by 2002. A total of Rs. 1511.51 crores was
paid from the settlement fund, according to a GOI Scheme (program), which established the
categories of claims and amounts of compensation, and which was administered by the Bhopal
Gas Victims Welfare Commissioner. UCC played no role in the distribution of settlement funds.
The following year, various activist groups petitioned the Supreme Court, seeking disposal of the
remaining balance of the settlement funds, which was approximately equal to the amount already
paid. In July 2004, the Supreme Court directed the Welfare Commissioner to disburse the
balance of Rs. 1503.01 crores to the claimants who had already received compensation, thus
doubling the amount of compensation per claimant.
In 2006, activist groups sought to require the GOI to increase the settlement fund by five times,
alleging that the Supreme Court substantially underestimated the number of victims of the
disaster when it approved the settlement. The GOI said the allegations were unfounded and
frivolous, and asked the Court to impose sanctions on the activist groups. In 2007, the Supreme
Court denied the requested relief on the grounds urged by the GOI.
In 2009, the Welfare Commissioner rejected another challenge to the settlement by activists and
the Madhya Pradesh High Court affirmed the decision.
In 2010, activists filed a special petition in the Supreme Court, which the Welfare Commissioner
also opposed while defending the settlement. The Supreme Court has not ruled on this petition.

Criminal Litigation
Print
The Indian Central Bureau on Investigation (CBI) initiated criminal proceedings in December
1987, which accused Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) Chairman Warren M. Anderson, seven
managers of Union Carbide Indian Limited (UCIL) and three corporate entities -- UCC, Union
Carbide Eastern and UCIL -- with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, the most serious
offense charged. These criminal charges were quashed as part of the 1989 settlement, which
resolved all civil claims as well.
However, in its October 1991 judgment upholding the settlement of the civil claims, the Supreme
Court of India also held that the criminal case could proceed. Mr. Anderson and UCC were
ordered to appear before the Indian criminal court in 1992, but did not because the court lacked
criminal jurisdiction over them and the criminal charges had been quashed as part of the global
settlement. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhopal (CJM), declared them absconders and directed
that a warrant be issued against Mr. Anderson to initiate proceedings for extradition.

In 1996, the Supreme Court of India reduced the charges against the Indian defendants to the
lesser offense of causing death by a rash or negligent act. However, in 2002, the CJM refused
to reduce the charges against Mr. Anderson and ordered the CBI to immediately seek his
extradition. In May 2003, the GOI formally requested the U.S. extradite Mr. Anderson to India, but
in June 2004, the U.S. denied the request on substantive grounds; essentially, that the GOI had
not made a prima facie case for extradition.
In 2010, all the appropriate people from UCIL -- officers and those who actually ran the
plant on a daily basis -- were convicted of negligence. The defendants appealed their
convictions. The CJM denied attempts by the CBI to reinstate the original charges and the
CBI has appealed. Decisions are pending on both appeals.
In response to the public outcry after the 2010 convictions, the CBI also renewed its request for
Mr. Anderson's extradition. This request was still pending at the time of Mr. Anderson's death in
September 2014.
Of note is the opinion of the Attorney-General of India regarding the extradition of Mr. Warren
Anderson dated Aug.6, 2001. For further details on the opinion of the Attorney General of India:
Extraditition of Mr. Warren Anderson, click here.

2010 Bhopal Court Decision; UCIL


Executives Convicted of Negligence

By requirement of the Government of India (GOI), the Bhopal plant was detail designed, owned,
operated and managed by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) and its employees. All the
appropriate people from UCIL -- officers and those who actually ran the plant on a daily basis -have appeared to face charges and were convicted of negligence. Union Carbide and its officials
were not part of this case since the charges were divided long ago into a separate case.
Furthermore, UCC and its officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Indian court since they
did not have any involvement in the operation of the plant, which was owned and operated by
UCIL.
*Please note: In 1994, UCC sold its entire stake in UCIL to Mcleod Russel India Limited, which
renamed the company, Eveready Industries India, Limited (Eveready Industries). In 1998, the
Madhya Pradesh State Government (MPSG), which owns and had been leasing the Bhopal plant
site property to Eveready, cancelled the lease, took over the facility and assumed all
accountability for the site, including the completion of any additional remediation.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Bhopal


Criminal Litigation
1. Why hasnt UCC appeared in the criminal proceedings in India, and why didn't former
Chairman Warren Anderson appear before he died?
A. With regard to Bhopal litigation in India, all the key people from UCIL -- officers and those who
actually ran the plant -- have appeared to face charges, which were reduced to a misdemeanor
status. Neither UCC nor its officials are subject to the jurisdiction of the Indian court since they
did not have any involvement in the operation of the plant. By requirement of the GOI, the plant
was designed, owned, operated and managed by UCIL and its employees.
2. Isn't UCC in violation of Judge Keenan's 1986 order requiring the company to appear in
Indian Courts?
A. No. The American litigation was civil litigation. Judge Keenan's order and Union Carbide's
consent were with respect to civil jurisdiction in India -- not criminal jurisdiction. UCC did litigate
and settle the civil claims arising from the Bhopal tragedy in the Indian civil courts. UCC is not
subject to criminal jurisdiction in India and has not consented to it. UCC was not required to
appear in any criminal matters in India.
As the U.S. Court of Appeals noted in its 2006 decision upholding Judge John Keenan's rulings
in the Bano case, UCC did not violate his order to consent to the civil jurisdiction of the Indian
courts, which was imposed as a condition to the dismissal of earlier litigation in the United States
based upon the 1984 gas release on the grounds of forum non conveniens, by not appearing in
the criminal case in India. Click here to view the complete opinion of the Court of Appeals.
3. Is it true that UCC is being tried "in absentia" in India?
A. No. The charges against UCC were severed from the remaining charges against UCIL and the
Indian individuals associated with it, which were actively prosecuted. UCC was not tried "in
absentia."
4. Isn't UCC trying to escape responsibility by claiming the plant was totally operated by
UCIL and that UCC had no role in its operation?
A. No. UCC had no role whatsoever in the operation of the Bhopal plant. By requirement of the
GOI, the plant was operated totally by employees of UCIL.
In 1987, the U.S. Second Circuit Court upheld a lower court's ruling that "UCCs participation was
limited and its involvement in plant operations terminated long before the accident....the UOI
[Union of India] controlled the terms of the agreements and precluded UCC from exercising any
authority to 'detail design, erect and commission the plant', which was done independently over
the period from 1972 to 1980 by UCIL process design engineers....The preliminary process
design information furnished by UCC could not have been used to construct the plant.
Construction required the detailed process design and engineering data prepared by hundreds of
Indian engineers, process designers and sub-contractors..." Click here to view the Court of
Appeals decision.

Subsequently, in 2013, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Keenans
comprehensive decision of June 2012 that had unambiguously concluded that UCC is not liable
for any environmental remediation or pollution-related claims made by residents near the Bhopal
plant site in India; dismissed all claims against UCC and former Chairman Anderson; and ruled
that UCC had no liability related to the plant site. Click here to view the complete 2013 court
decision.

Curative Petition Regarding the 1989 Bhopal


Settlement
Print
Government of India (GOI) Files Curative Petition*
In 2010, after the verdict in the criminal case, a Group of Ministers was formed to consider
additional compensation to victims of the disaster and other measures. Subsequently, in
December 2010, the GOI filed a Curative Petition in the Supreme Court seeking:

To require Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) to enhance the settlement amount


-- notwithstanding the GOIs vehement opposition to such relief when previously sought
by activists;

Reimbursement of relief and rehabilitation expenses incurred by the state and central
governments; and

A sum for remediating the plant site.

The total request: in excess of $1 billion. The Curative Petition also named The Dow Chemical
Company (TDCC) as a respondent. Subsequently, the Madhya Pradesh State Government
(MPSG) sought to intervene, as did certain interest groups who also filed an application alleging
additional purported grounds for enhancing the settlement and stating that the additional
payment should be $8.1 billion.
* A Curative Petition is a procedural device in Indias legal system designed for use in rare and
narrowly defined situations to correct judgments entered as a result of procedural judicial error.
UCC responded to these submissions in November 2011, demonstrating that they were legally
and factually without merit; asserting that the Indian courts lacked jurisdiction over UCC; and
stating that the Curative Petition is legally improper because:

The Supreme Court fully considered and rejected objections from non-government
organizations (NGOs) on two occasions following its initial validation of the settlement in
1989. First, it considered and overruled such objections in its final judgment in October
1991. Second, in 2007, after the settlement funds were fully paid out, the Court rejected

challenges to the adequacy of the settlement on the same grounds the activists now
reassert.

The GOI -- not UCC -- established the criteria for the acceptance and categorization of
claims. The GOIs claims process was now complete and its determinations were final. In
attempting to challenge the Welfare Commissioners determinations, certain interest
groups greatly exaggerated the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by the
disaster by relying on a report from the Indian Council of Medical Research published
more than 15 years ago -- a report that simply did not support their claims.

At most, if the GOI was successful with its Curative Petition, it would merely be able to undo the
judgment it claims was wrong. Undoing the judgment would mean that GOI would have to pay
back the settlement amounts to UCC and UCIL (with interest), the settlement would be unwound,
and the GOI would have to proceed with the lawsuit it filed for compensation for victims. It would
have to prove wrongdoing on the part of Union Carbide and UCIL, and would have to submit
proof of individual damages for all claimants. Of course, to require UCC to defend against such a
case 31 years after the events at issue occurred would violate its due process rights.
Union Carbide Statements on the Government of India's and Related Parties'
2011 Legal Filings Regarding the Bhopal Settlement

Union Carbide Responds To Filing Of the Curative Petition by the Government of India,
Feb. 28, 2011.

Union Carbide Response Regarding the Curative Petition, Nov. 18, 2011.

Union Carbide Response to Certain Interest Groups Applications in the Curative Petition
Proceeding, Nov. 18, 2011.

TDCC Chemical Response to Curative Petition


The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) also responded to the Curative Petition in November 2011
and demonstrated that:

The Indian courts have no jurisdiction over it.

Even if UCC was liable, TDCC had no connection with the Bhopal disaster, which
occurred 17 years before TDCC acquired the shares of UCC in 2001 and 12 years after
the settlement was approved by the Supreme Court.

TDCC and UCC remain separate companies, and as a matter of well-established law,
TDCC did not acquire UCCs liabilities.

Business transactions alleged by the activists do not legally or factually provide a basis
for jurisdiction over TDCC.

The Supreme Court has not scheduled the Curative Petition or the related applications for a
hearing, notwithstanding an application by UCC to the Supreme Court in December 2011, for an

early hearing. Nor has the Supreme Court ruled on an additional application by UCC submitted in
March 2012, for the GOI and others who intend to file replies to UCCs and TDCCs responses to
do so within two weeks and for the Court to then schedule a hearing.

Union Carbide Statements on the


Government of India's and Related Parties
2011 Legal Filings (Curative Petition, etc.)
Regarding the Bhopal Settlement

Union Carbide Responds To Filing Of the Curative Petition by the Government of India,
Feb. 28, 2011.

Union Carbide Response Regarding the Curative Petition, Nov. 18, 2011.

Union Carbide Response to Certain Interest Groups Applications in the Curative Petition
Proceeding, Nov. 18, 2011.

TDCC Response to Curative Petition


The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) also responded to the Curative Petition in November 2011
and demonstrated that:

The Indian courts have no jurisdiction over it.

Even if UCC were liable, jurisdiction over Union Carbide does not translate to jurisdiction
over TDCC because TDCC had no connection with the Bhopal disaster, which occurred
17 years before TDCC acquired the shares of UCC in 2001 and 12 years after the
settlement was approved by the Supreme Court.

TDCC and UCC remain separate companies, and as a matter of well-established law,
TDCC did not acquire UCCs liabilities.

Business transactions alleged by the activists do not legally or factually provide a basis
for jurisdiction over TDCC.

The Indian Supreme Court has not scheduled the Curative Petition or the related applications for
a hearing, notwithstanding an application by UCC to the Supreme Court in December 2011, for
an early hearing. Nor has the Supreme Court ruled on an additional application by UCC
submitted in March 2012. In that application, UCC asked that the GOI and others who intend to
file replies to UCCs and TDCCs responses to do so within two weeks and for the Court to then
schedule a hearing. Further, the GOI has not responded to UCC and TDCCs submissions even
though it was directed to do so by the Indian Supreme Court.
Actions Against The Dow Chemical Company
Since TDCC acquired the shares of UCC in 2001, repeated attempts have been made to involve
TDCC in the criminal proceedings against UCC in India. Non-Governmental Organizations
(NGOs) filed two applications with the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) in Bhopal:

The first in 2001 seeking an order directing TDCC to appear in those proceedings as
UCCs successor, and

The second in 2005 seeking to compel TDCC to produce UCC for trial.

In 2005, the CJM issued an order to serve notice to TDCC to show cause why these applications
should not be granted. Dow India, which was served with the notice, appealed the order to the
Madhya Pradesh High Court. The High Court stayed the order for nearly seven years pending
appeal, but finally dismissed it in 2012. In July 2013, the CJM directed notice to be issued to
TDCC in the U.S. to appear and respond to the 2005 application. To date, TDCC has not been
served with notice.
An additional NGO application seeks disclosure of all UCC-related business dealings in India,
including transactions involving Dow Global Technologies, Inc. (now DGTL) and its licensing of
UCC-origin technology to Reliance Industries in India. To date, neither Dow India, DGTL nor
TDCC has been served with the notice.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Curative


Petition Litigation
1. What does the curative petition filed by the Government of India mean?
A. By filing a curative petition to reopen the settlement of the Bhopal gas disaster some 21 years
later, the GOI has, in effect, reneged on an agreement it negotiated and signed with UCC and
UCIL. The settlement was reviewed and approved by the highest court in the country, and all
parties should be able to rely upon it as a final disposition of potential liabilities related to that
event.
Not only is it difficult to see how attempts to reopen such a thoroughly reviewed settlement could
be made, but it is also even more difficult to see how liability could be attached in any way to
TDCC for the tragedy as the company had no connection whatsoever to this tragedy or its
aftermath.

Nearly 31 years after the tragedy of the 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, this terrible event continues to
evoke strong emotions. But allowing these emotions to blur the line of rationality and absolve the
filter of logic is not only wrong, but also sends a strong message that the Indian government does
not honor rule of law and its own commitments.
India, as a country committed to justice and the rule of law, needs to honor the rule of laws
finality and the integrity of their legally-binding agreements. Without this foundation, there is no
basis for confidence or certainty in the investment in any countrys economy.
We expect the Supreme Court of India will demonstrate its continued commitment to these
principles when it considers the GOI's curative petition, which has never been set for hearing.
2. What is UCC's reaction to the GOI's curative petition?
A. The GOIs filing of a curative petition sends a very troubling message to the rest of the world,
is unprecedented and, in effect, reneges on an agreement it negotiated and signed with UCC and
UCIL. The settlement was reviewed and approved by the highest court in the country, and all
parties should be able to rely upon it as a final disposition of potential liabilities related to that
event.
UCC opposes any attempt to invalidate the original settlement arrived at by the GOI, UCC and
UCIL in 1989.
Its important to remember that, in directing a final settlement of all Bhopal litigation in the amount
of $470 million in 1989, the Supreme Court of India reviewed all U.S. and Indian court filings,
applicable law and relevant facts, and an assessment of the victims needs. The Court also noted
the settlement award was much larger than any previous damage award in India, and was $120
million more than plaintiffs lawyers had told U.S. courts was fair.
Furthermore, the Indian Supreme Court also addressed in its 1991 reaffirmation of the decision
what appears to be one of the central points upon which critics have based their calls for reopening the settlement. That is, the Supreme Court required that the GOI make up for any
shortfall in the settlement amount (See page 682, paragraph 198 of the Indian Supreme Courts
1991 ruling), and to acquire a group medical insurance policy to cover 100,000 persons who
might later develop symptoms shown to have resulted from being exposed during the gas release
(See pages 684-686, paragraphs 205-208, of the Indian Supreme Courts 1991 ruling).
Therefore, the Government of India is the party responsible for paying any additional sums that
might be required -- not Union Carbide.
For the complete court decision (part 1), please click here.
For the complete court decision (part 2), please click here.
3. Why is it surprising that the GOI took the step to attempt to re-open the 1989 settlement
now?
A. Because in 2007, when the India Supreme Court rejected attempts to reopen the 1989
settlement for the second time, the proponents to reopening the 1989 settlement at that time

used the very same grounds that are set forth in the curative petition. The India Supreme Court
held in 2007 that it cannot be done and the said issue has been decided by this court.
It is instructive (and it was entirely appropriate) that in responding to that request to reopen, the
GOI opposed reopening the 1989 settlement, stating in an affidavit dated Oct. 26, 2006, that the
validity of the settlement by no stretch of interpretation can be questioned at this stage as each
and every claimant has got compensation as per law and his entitlement, that by no logic and
reason is it open to say even for a moment that the justness or determination [of compensation]
is impaired, and that [t]he application filed by the applicants is frivolous and may be dismissed
with heavy costs.
Nothing has changed that would justify the GOI's change in position.
Regarding the GOI's demand for UCC to pay more toward the clean up of the Bhopal site.
1. What is UCC's response to the GOI's demand to pay for the site clean up?
A. UCC strongly disagrees with the GOI's demand to have UCC pay anything toward the clean
up of the Bhopal site. Some have tried unsuccessfully to litigate this issue in the U. S., with cases
filed in New York Federal court in November 2004, and thereafter, focusing on site remediation
and compensation for residents. In June 2012, a Federal court unambiguously concluded in
Sahu I that neither UCC nor its retired Chairman Warren Anderson are liable for any
environmental remediation or pollution-related personal injury claims made by residents near the
Bhopal plant site.
In June 2013, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the 2012 court
decision, stating: "...many others living near the Bhopal plant may well have suffered terrible and
lasting injuries from a wholly preventable disaster for which someone is responsible. After nine
years of contentious litigation and discovery, however, all that the evidence in this case
demonstrates is that UCC is not that entity".
A separate case (Sahu II) -- filed in 2007 in New York District Court -- sought damages to clean
up six individual properties allegedly polluted by contaminants from the Bhopal plant, as well as
the remediation of property in 16 colonies adjoining the plant. This suit was the last remaining
Bhopal-related case before U.S. Courts. In July 2014, Judge Keenan ruled that UCC was not
liable for any on-ongoing pollution from the Bhopal chemical plant. An appeal is pending.
2. Some say the amount of funding needed to help survivors and their families was
underestimated in that initial settlement. If more money is needed, will it come from UCC?
A. No. the Supreme Court of India has already spoken to any potential need for additional funds.
In its 1991 reaffirmation of the 1989 Bhopal settlement, the Court required the GOI to:

Make up for any shortfall in the settlement account; (See page 682, paragraph 198, of the
Indian Supreme Court's 1991 ruling).

Acquire a medical insurance policy to cover 100,000 people who might later develop
symptoms shown to have resulted from being exposed during the gas release (See
pages 684-686, paragraphs 205-208 of the Indian Supreme Court's 1991 ruling).

As recently as 2006, the GOI filed an affidavit with the India Supreme Court asserting that the
settlement was appropriate and reasonable and should not be revisited. In a 2007 decision, the
India Supreme Court agreed with this view. At that time, it was noted that the actual disposition
amount distributed to individuals and families had in fact been higher than prescribed, with no
new claimants stepping forward.
We understand there are virtually no new facts to consider since this issue was considered in
2007. In fact, we understand the proposed curative petition shows that the additional settlement
funds being sought are based on a large number of minor- or no-injury claims. This is a
category which according to the GOIs 2006 affidavit included mere presence in an affected
part of the city, without physical injury.
3. What role has the GOI played in the aftermath of the Bhopal Tragedy?
A. In its 1991 reaffirmation of the 1989 Bhopal settlement, the India Supreme Court required the
GOI to make up for any shortfall in the settlement account and also acquire a medical insurance
policy to cover 100,000 people who might later develop symptoms shown to have resulted from
being exposed during the gas release.
However, there was no shortfall. The settlement fund was sufficient to compensate all claimants
double the amounts the GOI itself set as fair compensation. Therefore, any questions regarding
additional compensation for those who died, sustained injuries or continue to suffer health effects
as a result of the Bhopal tragedy should be directed to the GOI.
4. Who should clean up the site?
A. Responsibility for the clean-up of the Bhopal site lies with the Madhya Pradesh State
Government (MPSG). In 1998, the MPSG, which owned and had been leasing the property to
UCIL, took over the facility and assumed all accountability for the site, including the completion of
any additional remediation. The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers announced on Aug. 5,
2010, that the cleanup would be undertaken and completed by the state by Dec. 31, 2010...but
that has not taken place.
5. Is the reported amount requested in the curative petition ($1.2 billion) incremental, or
does it include the $470 million that was already paid out?
A. We understand this proposal to be incremental.
6. What is the legal precedent for this type of activity?
A.None whatsoever. The curative petition is contrary to law and due process.
7. What do we expect the timing would be for a final determination?
A. The final determination was made in 1989 and the adequacy of the settlement has since been
re-affirmed by the Indian Supreme Court in 1991 and 2007. We expect and have every

confidence that the India Supreme Court will continue to adhere to its long standing tradition of
comporting with the rule of law and due process.

Other Civil Proceedings in India: Public


Interest Litigation
Print
1. Alok Pratap Singh vs. UOI: Madhya Pradesh High Court
An activist filed this public interest litigation (PIL) in 2004 against the Government of India (GOI),
Madhya Pradesh State Government (MPSG), the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board
(MPPCB) and The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC), with non-governmental organzations
(NGOs) also being given notice and the opportunity to express their views. Mr. Singh seeks to
hold TDCC responsible to:

Assume the undischarged liabilities of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) for all pollution
impacts;

Clean up the site at Bhopal; and

Provide long-term medical care, research and monitoring related to plant site pollution.

UCC has declined to appear in the case citing lack of jurisdiction.


2. UOI vs. Alok Pratap Singh: Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court
Neither UCC nor TDCC is a party to this Special Leave Petition (SLP).

Many efforts were made to explore incineration of the wastes. In a SLP filed by the State
of Gujarat challenging Madhya Pradesh High Court orders directing incineration of
Bhopal wastes in Gujarat, the Supreme Court requested that the GOI form a Committee
of representatives of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to find a solution. The Committee
recommended that the wastes be incinerated, after a trial run, at an incinerator being
constructed at the Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) in Pithampur. The
Supreme Court directed that this recommendation be implemented in an order dated in
January 2010.

On several occasions, thereafter, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has criticized the GOI
for failing to comply with the Supreme Courts direction and, in December 2011, also
directed the GOI to conduct a trial incineration. When the GOI failed to comply, the High
Court in March 2012 directed the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests to
appear personally to show cause why he could not comply with the order.

The GOI immediately filed a SLP in the Supreme Court against the High Courts order
and the Court stayed the operation of the order while it considered the matter. There have
been no further material proceedings in the High Court since the filing of the SLP.

The GOI also filed a petition in the Supreme Court to transfer the PIL to the Supreme
Court and have it decided together with the Curative Petition, which included
environmental claims wholly unrelated to the gas disaster. Both TDCC and the activist
groups opposed the Transfer Petition, which the Supreme Court has not decided.

The GOI stated in February 2012 that a trial incineration of 10 metric tons of UCIL waste
would be undertaken at the Pithampur TSDF within three months and a report would be
submitted to the High Court. The Supreme Court directed MP, the MPPCB and the
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to implement the trial and report to the High
Court by July 4, 2012, after which the High Court may issue appropriate direction(s) in
the matter of disposal of the waste.

The MPSG filed an application to stay the Supreme Courts order, pending examination of
a proposal from a quasi-governmental German agency (GIZ) to incinerate 350 metric
tons of Bhopal plant waste in Germany. Thereafter, the GOI and MPSG repeatedly
requested additional time to finalize an arrangement with GIZ.

Activists filed submissions on the alleged liability of EIIL, UCC and TDCC for
contamination of the UCIL plant site. UCC position: the arguments are similar to those
asserted in the U.S. Sahu case and in the activists Curative Petition application
proceeding in the Supreme Court.

GIZ withdrew its proposal and, since then, efforts have focused on preparations for
incineration of the 350 metric tons of waste at the Pithampur incinerator.

Following the completion of the incineration facility, incineration of normal industrial


hazardous waste and the successful trial incineration of 10 metric tons of waste similar
to the UCIL waste in early 2013, the CPCB informed the Supreme Court that a trial
incineration of UCIL waste now should be conducted.

The MPSG agreed to a trial incineration of 10 metric tons of UCIL waste, provided that it
was conducted after December 15, 2013 -- once state elections were completed. At a
hearing, the GOI opposed deferral of the trial, but the Court adjourned the matter pending
a report from NGOs.

NGOs informed the Court the planned construction of residential buildings on the site
near the solar evaporation ponds (SEPs) "could seriously aggravate the situation of
contamination and critically impede remediation efforts. In response, the MPSG stated it
was not planning any construction, and two owners of land in the SEP area were ordered
to not carry out any other activities on the property. (Of special note is the fact that
Google maps indicate that a multiple-lane elevated highway has been constructed
through the area of the former SEPs.)

In August 2013, activists filed the five-year remediation plan prepared by the Indian
Center for Science and Environment (CSE) and based on a conference of GOI officials,
experts and activists held in New Delhi, India, on April 25-26, 2013.

3. Research Foundation for Science vs. UOI: Supreme Court


Neither UCC nor The Dow Chemical Company is a party to this PIL, which commenced in 1996
and includes a claim that industrial waste sites throughout India violate the constitutional right to
life.
The Supreme Court noted in 1997 that waste-generating industrial operations should not have
been authorized by public officials without ensuring the availability of the required safe disposal
sites, but deferred fixing responsibility for this failure.
In a series of orders, the Supreme Court:

Directed the State governments and their Pollution Control Boards and the CPCB to
identify the extent of the wastes, the availability of disposal sites, steps to minimize
generation of wastes and proper handling and disposal of wastes.

Because its orders were largely ignored, the Supreme Court appointed a Monitoring
Committee to canvas waste sites throughout India and to recommend remediation
measures to the Court. The Committee's April 2004 quarterly monitoring report targeted
the Bhopal plant site and included recommendations that the site be cleaned up prior to
the 2005 monsoon; that MPSG be required to close all hand pumps in the communities
surrounding the site; and to supply them with fresh water in tankers or in pipes for
drinking and also for agricultural purposes.

Directed the MPSG to supply fresh water; the clean-up of the plant site was not
mentioned.

During 2012 and 2013, the CPCB analyzed soil and groundwater samples at and around the
Bhopal plant and also sampled the water supplied by MPSG. This sampling was done to enable
the CPCB to develop plans to decontaminate the groundwater and soil. Interim reports were
submitted to the Court.

Environmental Studies of the Bhopal Plant


Site
Print
The Bhopal plant closed after the 1984 gas release and never resumed normal operations. The
Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Indian courts and the Madhya Pradesh Pollution
Control Board (MPPCB) closely monitored and controlled all activity at the site.

No steps were taken to remediate the site while the Bhopal disaster litigation was in progress.
The CBI considered the MIC unit evidence in the criminal case and blocked access to it.
However, after the global settlement, numerous environmental studies were conducted through
the years, sponsored variously by the Madhya Pradesh State Government (MPSG), MPPCB,
Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), various other Indian governmental agencies, Indian
environmental firms and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These studies tried to
determine the extent of any soil and groundwater contamination at the site, whether groundwater
in neighboring areas was contaminated and, if so, what had caused it. An chronological overview
of the various investigations follows.
1. NEERI 1990 Study -- Solar Evaporation Ponds
In 1989, after the global settlement, the MPSG sponsored a study by the National Environmental
Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to determine the extent of contamination in the area of
the site's solar evaporation ponds (SEPs) and to propose a clean-up method.
The SEP area, covering 35 acres, is composed of three ponds: Ponds I and II were used in
normal operations, while Pond III was used for emergency purposes. The ponds -- which
included a special polyethylene sheet on the bottom and on all sides to prevent seepage into the
soil -- were used to store neutralized liquid waste from the plant.
NEERI tested 93 wells in a 10-kilometer radius of the ponds, including 11 test wells and 82 public
drinking wells and concluded that:
o

The water in all was within drinking water standards;

The soil within 2.5 km of the solar evaporation ponds was not contaminated by the ponds;

There were very low concentrations of heavy metals in the ponds. The toxicity of the
ponds was due to salts, not to organics;

Despite five monsoons following the disaster, there had been no leaching from the ponds.
The polyethylene liner acted as a barrier together with the low hydraulic conductivity of
the dense clay soil, and

Crop yield data for the area was better than the all-India average yield, which showed that
UCIL operations had no adverse effect on crop growth.

NEERI found localized contamination of wells near the following locations:


o

Ice factory a kilometer south, southeast of the plant caused by calcium and sodium
chloride used at the factory;

Central Warehouse located by a dumpsite; and

Gully, south, southeast of the plant.

NEERI recommended all the sediment, residue and contaminated soil be moved from Ponds I
and II and placed it in a secure landfill in the area of Pond III.
2. NEERIs 1992 Report -- Process Package for Disposal of Solar Evaporation Ponds
Contents
This UCIL-sponsored study:
o

Found high levels of chloride in the SEP water despite eight monsoons since 1984, which
strongly suggests the chloride contaminants were not leaching into the groundwater.

Monitored wells within two kilometers of the SEPs and found that they were of drinking
water quality.

Concluded that the SEP area needed remediation, but the surrounding areas did not.

The remediation of the SEPs took place from 1995-1998 by Eveready Industries India Limited
(the new name for UCIL) and was almost completed at the time the MPSG took control of the site
in 1998. All of the work was done with the prior approval and under the close supervision of the
MPPCB.
3. NEERI's 1997 Report -- Assessing Contamination at the Plant
In 1997, NEERI issued a 230-page assessment of the contaminated areas within the plant site.
Developed with the assistance of Arthur D. Little, Inc., the report found contamination within the
plant site, but found no groundwater contamination outside the site caused by the plants
operations.
The report recommended that:

Contaminated soil and dump materials be excavated immediately on a priority basis to


prevent further contamination of soil. It noted that the groundwater in the vicinity (within
500 meters) is potable, but a delay in implementing excavation may lead to its
contamination.

The MPPCB expeditiously identify and approve a hazardous waste site where the
excavated materials should be treated and disposed of in an environmentally friendly
manner.

4. Indian Institute of Chemical Technology 1997 Report -- Disposal of Tarry Residues


The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) also issued a report in 1997 concerning the
best method for disposing of the Sevin and naphthol tar residues at the plant. The report
analyzed a variety of treatment methods and concluded that a dedicated incinerator needed to be
specifically fabricated to burn the waste due to the presence of a variety of hazardous residues.
The report contained a proposal to the MPPCB for IICT to study the design of the proposed
incinerator.

Turnover of the Plant to the Madhya


Pradesh State Government -- July 1998

On July 7,1998, the MPSG revoked EIIL's lease and assumed control of the Bhopal plant site.
Only the MIC and Sevin units and the administration building remained on the site at that time;
the other units had been dismantled.
On July 28, 1998, the MPPCB publicly denied that there had been any water contamination
caused by the operation of the plant and, in a press release, stated:
"The Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board collected and analyzed the samples from the
tubewells and other drinking water sources in the areas around the Union Carbide premises early
this month. The analysis found no traces of chemicals in the water sources that may be linked to
the chemicals used in the Union Carbide factory or the wastes there. Samples from those water
sources were also collected, water of which is non-potable. In these sources also no residues of
such chemicals were found that may be linked to the chemicals used in Union Carbide or the
wastes there....
"...National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, has collected and
analyzed the samples from these water sources from time to time. In these analyses, no traces of
chemicals were found that may be related to the chemicals used in Union Carbide factory....
"...It may also be mentioned here that three solar evaporation ponds were constructed for the
treatment of contaminated water of the factory. The silt of pond number one and two has been
safely disposed of in pond number three under the supervision of experts. This has been done
through secure land fill technique suggested by the NEERI....
"...Recently, the Industries Department has taken possession of the entire 87.74 acres of land of
Union Carbide by canceling the lease. After possession of the land by the State Government, the
civil and criminal liabilities of Union Carbide will remain unchanged. The State Government will
ensure safe disposal of the residual Sevin and naphthol tar from the factory. This will be done in
consultation with NEERI, Nagpur, and I.I.C.T. Hyderabad."
Studies After 1998
Although UCIL had no involvement with the plant after the state government took over the site in
1998, and UCC never owned or controlled the plant site, UCC is aware of several other post1998 investigations of pollution at the plant site. A brief description of these materials is included
below.
5. Greenpeace 1999 Report
In 1999, the NGO Greenpeace (GP) issued a report that discussed samples of solid wastes, soil

and groundwater from within the plant site and the surrounding area collected by GP in 1999 and
analyzed at laboratories in Exeter, U.K.
All of GPs samples were taken from areas where chemical wastes were stored or buried. It found
contamination within the plant site and its immediate surroundings.

Well-Water Samples and Results


GP took 12 duplicate sets of well water samples -- one set from inside the plant site and
11 from the surrounding communities (known as locally as "colonies"). Of the 12
samples:
-- 7 were negative; that is, not contaminated. They included three wells near the solar
evaporation ponds, three south of the plant and one north of the plant. Five tested
positive -- one from a bore hold at the plant site; one south of the plant; and three from
wells in the immediate vicinity of Disposal Area I.

The conclusions of the Greenpeace report were similar to NEERIs conclusions: there is
hazardous waste within the plant walls that needs to be remediated and there is no real evidence
that the groundwater outside the plant, except in the immediate vicinity of Disposal Area I.

1999 Greenpeace Report and the Bano Case


in the U.S.

The GP report gives special thanks for the assistance of the Bhopal Group for Information and
Action and Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sanghatan, which actively participated in the
investigation leading to the report. These two organizations also were plaintiffs in the Bano U.S.
court case. The case was ultimately dismissed in favor of UCC, and the dismissal was upheld on
appeal.
The claim of the plaintiffs in that litigation of widespread contamination in 16 colonies outside the
plant site, was not supported by the GP report:
-- No testing was done in 10 of the colonies included in the lawsuit -- Annu Nagar, Garib Nagar,
Chanbadi,Timber Market, Prem Nagar, Shri Ram Colony, Shiv Nagar, Sundar Nagar, New Arif
Nagar, Preet Nagar and Kanchi Chola;
-- Testing was negative in 3 of the colonies -- Nawab Colony, Blue Moon Colony and Shiv Shakti
Nagar;
-- Testing in J.P. Nagar colony was equivocal, with positive and negative results; and
-- Testing was positive only in Atal Ayub Nagar colony.

6. Srishti 2000 Report


This report by Shristi, a New Delhi-based scientific organization, acknowledges the contribution
of Satinath Sarangi, who works with the Bhopal Group for Information and Action and other
NGOs that have been intervenors or proposed intervenors in various Bhopal litigation cases. The
reports discusses data as to contaminants found in breast milk supplied by Mr. Sarangi but
does not explain how or where he obtained them. Shristi names seven off-site areas where it took
well-water samples but, unlike NEERI, does not specify where they were taken, except to say that
the sites were selected on the basis of their proximity to UCIL and dump sites near the plant.
7. Greenpeace 2002 Report
This report catalogs the type and location of chemical wastes within the plant site.
8. Indian National Institute of Occupational Health 2006 Report
In 2006, the Indian National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) issued a report that analyzed
blood, soil and water samples taken in 2005 for organochlorine pesticides (such as DDT and
hexachlorocyclohexane 3 [HCH]) and mercury and also for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in
water. The samples -- from 10 locations both near the plant site and at some distance from it, as
well as from the plant site itself -- found no abnormally high values, with the exception of two
isolated outliers one soil sample within the plant site (mercury) and one just outside the plant
boundary (HCH).
More specifically, NIOH reported the levels of:
o

Mercury in water and soil samples were comparable with the levels of mercury reported
from other parts of the country, with the exception of one "high value" soil sample from
inside the plant site.

DDT and HCH in water and soil samples from inside and outside of the plant site were
comparable, with the exception of one soil sample from just outside the plant boundary
that showed high levels of HCH. However, NIOH stated that the values of DDT and HCH
found were less than the values of DDT and HCH reported in drinking water samples
collected in 1990.

DDT, HCH and mercury in the blood of people residing in the 10 locations are
comparable with the levels of those compounds reported from other parts of the country.
NIOH found no trend in the levels of pesticides in the blood with respect to the location of
their residence from UCIL and the solar evaporation ponds.

Finally, NIOH detected no VOCs in any water samples at a detection limit of 2 parts per million
(ppm).
UCIL did not make DDT or HCH, but used DDT for mosquito control and mixed HCH with Sevin
to make a pesticide called Sevidol.
9. Centre for Science and Environment 2009 Report
In its report, the Indian Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) concluded, based upon

limited sampling, that the land within the UCIL factory and waste disposal site is highly
contaminated with pesticides, chlorinated benzenes and heavy metals.
CSE also analyzed water samples from residential areas adjacent to the plant boundary and as
far away as 3.5 kilometers. Although CSE broadly stated it found pesticides in the water samples
above the limits set by the Bureau of Indian Standards, carbaryl pesticides and aldicarb (which
could be associated with plant operations) were found in only four samples and in only one
sample, respectively. The remaining contaminants (chlorinated benzenes and organochlorides)
could have resulted from agricultural use. Moreover, the most contaminated sample the only
one to contain mercury above the standard was the one furthest from the plant site.
10. NEERI 2010 Report
Commissioned by MPSG, the report delineates status of contamination in and around the plant
site.
NEERI found:
o

That excavation and recovery of dumped material from the dumpsites on the main plant
site, identified by NEERI's 1997 report and which had been carried out by MPPCB
through a contractor in 2005, is still incomplete.

Conducted further monitoring of the groundwater from borewells on site and nearby
existing wells and concluded that groundwater in general is not contaminated due to
seepage of contaminants from the UCIL dumps.

Isolated contamination in five wells in the immediate vicinity of the plant site (to the
east and north-east) was attributed "to surface runoff from the dumps.

Wastewater on the plant site from hutments and adjacent industries.

Most of the plant, machineries and buildings remaining on the site are in dilapidated
conditions and appeared to be contaminated.

With respect to the content of the former solar evaporation ponds, for which a secure landfill had
been created by UCIL/EIIL pursuant to NEERIs recommendation, NEERI found that both the
SEPs and landfill had been managed improperly and abandoned by the MPSG. The area was
unguarded, littered with domestic refuse and the polyethylene liners used to prevent seepage
from the SEPs and secure landfill had been damaged or removed, presumably by individuals
living nearby. For the first time, NEERI found the soil around the SEP area to be contaminated.
NEERI recommended both immediate and long term remedial measures be undertaken. The
immediate measures recommended were:

Proper fencing and security to UCIL premises and SEP area to prevent unauthorized
access and use of these areas by public.

Immediate sealing of five contaminated wells to prevent use of water from these wells for
any purpose by the residents.

Excavation and recovery of dumps materials. The incinerable wastes should be disposed
off in the Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) at Pithampur. The nonincinerable wastes to be disposed off in an on-site secured landfill facility to be
constructed at UCIL.

Decontamination and decommissioning of plant, machineries and buildings prior to


remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater.

Long-term measures addressed remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater. For


contaminated soil, NEERI recommended an on-site secured landfill facility. "For contaminated
groundwater, a pump-and-treat system was recommended.
Finally, NEERI recommended that the MPSG engage competent professional contractors for
detailed engineering, and execution of various remedial measures."
11. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research
Reports 2012
Water and groundwater samples were collected in September-December 2012 by the Indian
Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR).
Although CSIR-IITR stated that contamination found may be due to the past UCIL activities,
they could not rule out that pesticide (organics) contamination resulted from agricultural usage.
They also concluded that the presence of inorganics have no relation with past UCIL activity.
12. The Centre for Science and Environment Report of April 25-26, 2013, Expert
Roundtable
The Indian Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) issued a report in June 2013 of an Expert
Roundtable held in New Delhi on April 25-26, 2013. In addition to CSE representatives,
attendees included representatives of the CPCB, IICT, NEERI, hazardous waste management
companies, other experts and NGOs that have been involved in litigation over Bhopal (but no
representative of the MPSG).
CSE presented an analysis of 15 studies conducted over the last 20 years to assess soil and
groundwater contamination in and around the UCIL plant site and concluded that:

The studies reflect a consensus as to contamination of the soil at the plant site itself;

The contaminants found were similar and could be linked to process chemicals used and
wastes generated by UCIL;

There is variation in reports of the nature and extent of groundwater contamination in


surrounding areas, and

There were few studies of the waste stored at the site.

Based on the roundtable discussions, an action plan for immediate and medium- and long-term
measures was proposed.
The immediate measures are:

Securing the site and preventing annual surface water runoff, including fencing and
guarding the plant site and SEP area, stopping construction at the SEP area and
preventing runoff of rainwater during the monsoon season into the neighboring areas.

Excavation, recovery and characterization of waste dumped at the UCIL site. The
excavation of material from dump sites in 2005 was incomplete; new dump sites were
discovered by NEERI in 2010 and further investigation to identify potential additional sites
should be undertaken. Mercury present at the site should be collected in appropriate
containers. The waste collected should be inventoried and characterized so proper
means of remediation or disposal can be determined.

Characterization and incineration at Pithampur of the wastes previously collected.

The medium-and long-term measures are:

A thorough assessment of the type of contamination and its lateral spread around the site
should be conducted because of differences and gaps in the previous study findings.
Based on the results, a decontamination plan could be developed, including the
technology options and magnitude of the remediation work.

Characterization of wastes in the landfill in the SEP area and development of a


remediation plan. It was noted that the landfill was damaged and could be a source of
groundwater contamination.

Assessment of the need to remediate the entire SEP area. It was noted that the area has
not been satisfactorily studied.

Detoxification, dismantling and decommissioning of the remaining machinery and


structures at the UCIL plant site.

Remediation and fate of the UCIL site. After completion of studies, a basket of
appropriate decontamination/disposal methods should be developed, with a remediation
plan to be chosen based on future use of the site as a memorial.

Time frames for each action were given, extending to five years for complete site remediation.

Chronology
Print

Updated November 2015


Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) was established in 1934, when Union Carbide
Corporation (UCC) became one of the first U.S. companies to invest in India. UCIL shares
were publicly traded on the Calcutta Stock Exchange. UCIL was a diversified manufacturing
company, employing approximately 9,000 people and operating 14 plants in five divisions.
The Bhopal plant was built in the late 1970's and was owned and operated by UCIL, an
Indian company in which Union Carbide held just over half of the stock. Indian financial
institutions and thousands of private investors in India owned the remainder of the stock.
The plant produced pesticides for use in India to:

Help the country's agricultural sector increase its productivity. And,

Contribute more significantly to meeting the food needs of one of the


world's most heavily populated regions.

1984
Dec 3 The Bhopal Gas Tragedy
Shortly after midnight, methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaks from a tank at the UCIL
Bhopal plant. According to the state government of Madhya Pradesh, about 5,200
people die and several thousand other individuals experience permanent and partial
disabilities.
Dec 4 Immediate Action
Word of the disaster is received at Union Carbide headquarters in Connecticut.
Chairman and CEO Warren Anderson, together with a technical team, depart to India to
assist the government in dealing with the incident. Upon arrival, Anderson is placed
under house arrest and urged by the Indian government to leave the country within 24
hours.
Union Carbide organizes a team of international medical experts, as well as supplies
and equipment, to work with the local Bhopal medical community.
The UCC technical team begins assessing the cause of the gas leak.

Dec Carbide Chairman Testifies Before U.S. Congress


14
Testifying before Congress, Carbide Chairman and CEO Warren Anderson stresses
UCC's commitment to safety and promises to take actions to ensure that a similar

incident "cannot happen again."

1985
Feb Interim Relief
Union Carbide establishes a fund for victims of the tragedy -- the (UCC) Employees'
Bhopal Relief Fund -- that collects more than $120,000.
UCC sends more medical equipment to Bhopal.
Mar Study Launched
UCC launches a disaster program to study the effects of over-exposure to MIC.
Bhopal Gas Leak Act
Government of India (GOI) enacts the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act that enables the
GOI to act as the legal representative of the victims in claims arising from or related to
the Bhopal disaster.
Cause of the Incident
UCC Technical team reports that a large volume of water was introduced into the MIC
tank and triggered a reaction that resulted in the gas release. Independently, a
committee of experts for the Indian government arrives at the same conclusion.

Apr Union Carbide Offers $7 Million Interim Relief


UCC offers $5 million in relief for victims before the U.S. District Court, bringing the
total to date to $7 million.
Government of India Rejects Union Carbide Relief.
Government of India rejects UCC offers of aid for Bhopal victims.
June Additional Aid
UCC funds participation of Indian medical experts in meetings to obtain information
and the latest medical treatment techniques for victims.
July Additional Analysis
Core samples confirm that water triggered the reaction, which led to the gas release.

1986
Jan Union Carbide Funds Hospital
Union Carbide offers $10 million to the Indian government for building a hospital to
aid the victims in Bhopal.
Mar Union Carbide Proposes $350 Million as Settlement for Victims and Families
Union Carbide proposes a settlement amount of $350 million that will generate a fund
for Bhopal victims of between $500-600 million over 20 years. Plaintiffs' U.S.
attorneys endorse amount.

May Bhopal Litigation Transferred to India


U.S. District Court Judge transfers all Bhopal litigation to India. Decision is appealed.

1987
Jan U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms Transfer of Litigation to India
The court rules that UCIL is a separate entity, owned, managed and operated
exclusively by Indian citizens in India.
Mar Government of India Closes Vocational Technical Center
The Government of India closes and razes the Bhopal Technical and Vocational
Training Center built by Arizona State University after determining that Union Carbide
Corporation supplied funds for the project.
Aug Union Carbide Announces Humanitarian Relief
Union Carbide offers an additional $4.6 million in humanitarian interim relief for
immediate rehabilitation of Bhopal victims.

1988
Jan- Litigation in India
Dec Throughout 1988, arguments and appeals take place before the Indian Courts regarding
compensation for the victims. In November, the Supreme Court of India asks the
Government of India and UCC to reach a settlement, and tells both sides to "start with
a clean slate."

May New Evidence on Causation


Independent investigation by the engineering and consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc.,
concludes that the gas leak could only have been caused by sabotage; someone
intentionally connected a water hose to the gas storage tank and caused a massive
chemical reaction.

1989
Feb Final Settlement at $470 Million
The Supreme Court of India directs a final settlement of all Bhopal litigation in the
amount of $470 million, to be paid by March 31, 1989. Both the Government of India
and Union Carbide accept the court's direction. UCC pays $425 million; UCIL pays the
rupee equivalent of $45 million (including $5 million of interim relief previously paid).
Union Carbide Makes Full Payment
Within 10 days of the order, UCC and UCIL make full payment of the $470 million to
the Government of India.
May Supreme Court of India Renders Opinion
The Supreme Court, in a lengthy opinion, explains the rationale for the settlement and
emphasizes that the compensation levels provided for in the settlement are substantially
higher than those ordinarily payable under Indian law.

Dec Government of India To Act on Behalf of Victims


The Supreme Court upholds the validity of the "Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act of
1985" that authorized the Government of India to act on behalf of the Bhopal gas leak
victims.

1990
Jan- Supreme Court of India Proceedings Aim to Overturn Settlement
Dec Hearings are held throughout year on activist petitions to overturn the settlement
agreement.
Nov State Government Prepares List of Victims To Be Compensated
The State Government of Madhya Pradesh submits to the Supreme Court of India the
completed categorization of the claims of all of the victims. The State determines that,
in addition to the victims who suffered various levels of disabilities, the incident

resulted in 3,828 deaths.


Dec Supreme Court Hearings Conclude
Court concludes review of petitions seeking to overturn settlement.

1991
Oct Supreme Court Confirms the Settlement and Closes Legal Proceedings
The Supreme Court of India upholds the civil settlement of $470 million in its entirety
and sets aside portion of settlement that quashed criminal prosecutions that were
pending at the time of settlement. The Court also:

Requires Government of India to purchase, out of the settlement


fund, a group medical insurance policy to cover 100,000 persons
who may later develop symptoms;

Requires Government of India to make up any shortfall, however


unlikely, in settlement fund;

Gives directions concerning the administration of settlement fund;

Dismisses all outstanding petitions seeking review of settlement; and

Requests UCC and UCIL to voluntarily fund capital and operating


costs of a hospital in Bhopal for eight years, estimated at
approximately $17 million, to be built on land donated by the state
government.

UCC and UCIL agree to fund the hospital, as requested.

1992
Apr Union Carbide Sets Up Trust Fund
UCC announces plans to sell its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL.
UCC establishes charitable trust to ensure its share of the funding to build a hospital in
Bhopal and fund operations for up to eight years.

1993
Oct U.S. Supreme Court Denies Hearing on Legal Standing

The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear appeal of lower court, thereby affirming that
Bhopal victims may not sue for damages in U.S. courts.

1994
Apr Union Carbide To Sell Stake in Union Carbide India Limited
Supreme Court of India allows UCC to sell all its shares in UCIL so that assets can be
used to build Bhopal hospital.
Nov Union Carbide Completes Sale
UCC completes the sale of its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL to Mcleod Russel India
Limited of Calcutta.
Dec Union Carbide Fulfills Initial Commitment
UCC provides initial $20 million to charitable trust for Bhopal hospital.

1995-1999
Charitable Trust Builds Hospital

Hospital charitable trust begins facility construction in October 1995.


UCC provides approximately $90 million from the sale of all its UCIL stock.
By 1999, the trust has $100 million. Building is completed and physicians and medical
staff are being selected. The hospital will have facilities for the treatment of eye, lung
and heart problems.

2001
Hospital Opens to the Public

The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, funded largely by proceeds from
UCC sale of all its UCIL stock, begins treating patients.

2004
July Supreme Court of India Orders Release of Remaining Settlement Funds to
Victims
Fifteen years after reaching settlement, the Supreme Court of India orders the
Government of India to release all additional settlement funds to the victims. News
reports indicate that there is approximately $327 million in the fund as a result of
earned interest from money remaining after all claims had been paid.

2005
Apr Supreme Court of India Extends Deadline
For Release of Remaining Settlement Funds
The Supreme Court of India grants a request from the Welfare Commission for Bhopal
Gas Victims and extends to April 30, 2006, the distribution of the rest of the settlement
funds by the Welfare Commission. News reports indicate that approximately $390
million remains in the fund as a result of earned interest.
Dec Court Dismisses 2 Claims in Janki Bai Sahu Case
U.S. Federal District Court dismisses two of three claims in Janki Bai Sahu
case; that is, damages for alleged personal injuries from exposure to
contaminated water and remediation of the former UCIL plant site. (See
Nov. 2006 for information on third claim.) Case originally was filed in
November 2004.

2006
Aug U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal of 8-Year-Old Bano Case
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the dismissal of
the remaining claims in the case of Bano vs. Union Carbide Corporation, thereby
denying plaintiffs' motions for class certification and claims for property damages and
remediation of the Bhopal plant site by Union Carbide. The ruling reaffirms UCC's
long-held positions and finally puts to rest -- both procedurally and substantively -- the
issues raised in the class action complaint first filed against Union Carbide in 1999 by
Haseena Bi and several organizations representing the residents of Bhopal, India.
Sep Bhopal Welfare Commission Reports All Initial
Compensation Claims, Revised Petitions Cleared
Indian media report states the "registrar in the office of Welfare Commissioner... said
that all cases of initial compensation claims by victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy
have been cleared.. With clearance of initial compensation claims and revision

petitions, no case is pending.."


Oct

Madhya Pradesh State Government To Prepare Drinking Water,


Healthcare, Environmental Rehabilitation Plan
Indian media report says the state government of Madhya Pradesh will "chalk out an
action plan in the next two months for providing drinking water, adequate healthcare
and economic and environmental rehabilitation to survivors of the Bhopal gas
tragedy.."
Nov

U.S. Federal District Court Dismisses Last Claim in Sahu Case


Federal District Court dismisses remaining claim in Janki Bai Sahu case, which sought
to hold UCC liable for the acts of UCIL. Case originally was filed in November 2004.
Two other claims associated with the case were dismissed in December 2005.
Dec

Appeal Filed in Janki Bai Sahu Case


Plaintiffs file appeal in the case before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

2007
Mar New Class Action Lawsuit Filed in New York Federal Court
Jagarnath Sahu et al v. UCC and Warren Anderson seeks damages to clean up six
individual properties allegedly polluted by contaminants from the Bhopal plant, as well
as the remediation of property in 16 colonies adjoining the plant. Suit has been stayed
pending resolution of appeal in Janki Bai Sahu case. (See decision in June 2013
below.)
Apr 1989 Settlement Reaffirmed:
Indian Supreme Court again reaffirms adequacy and finality of 1989 settlement.

2008
May Arguments Heard in Janki Bai Sahu Appeals Case
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York hears oral arguments in Janki
Bai Sahu appeals case. Original case filed in November 2004. Two claims associated
with case were dismissed in December 2005 and the last remaining claim was
dismissed in November 2006.
Nov Sahu Appeals Case Remanded to District Court for Further Limited Activity

Court of Appeals sends back the Janki Bai Sahu case to the U.S. District Court in
Manhattan for limited further activity based strictly on procedural grounds, and does
not discuss the merits of the case or the merits of the trial judge's ruling of dismissal.

2009
Feb Court Rejects Mediation Request in Janki Bai Sahu Case
U.S. Federal District Court in New York declines to order mediation in the Janki Bai
Sahu case as requested by plaintiffs. The ruling affirms Union Carbide's position that
after years of court proceedings, this case in now in its final stages and, given the time
commitments already made by the courts, the Sahu case should complete its course
through the courts.

2010
Feb Court Rejects Disqualification Request in Janki Bai Sahu Case
A motion made by the plaintiffs in the Sahu case to disqualify the judge hearing the
case in District Court is rejected by the court.

2011
April Union Carbide Motion in Janki Bai Sahu Case
Union Carbide submits a motion for summary judgment in the Sahu case.

2012
June U.S. Court Rules Union Carbide Not Liable in Janki Bai Sahu Case
A U.S. Federal court unambiguously concludes that neither Union Carbide nor its
retired Chairman Warren Anderson are liable for any environmental remediation or
pollution-related claims made by residents near the Bhopal plant site.
Nov Appeal Filed in Janki Bai Sahu Case
Plaintiffs in the Janki Bai Sahu case file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Second Circuit.

2013
June U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds 2012 Ruling that
Union Carbide Not Liable in Janki Bai Sahu Case
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholds a 2012 judgement of the district
court that Union Carbide was not liable for any environmental remediation or
pollution-related personal injury claims made by residents near the Bhopal plant site in
India.

2014
July U.S. Court Rules UCC Not Liable for Property Damage Claims in Jagarnath
Sahu Case
A U.S. Federal court concludes in the Jagarnath Sahu et al v. UCC case (Sahu II) that
neither Union Carbide nor Warren Anderson could be sued for ongoing contamination
from the Bhopal chemical plant. This suit was originally filed in 2007, but hearings on
it were stayed pending resolution of the Janki Bai Sahu case (Sahu I), which was
dismissed in 2013. An appeal is pending in this case.
Sep Retired Union Carbide Chairman Warren M. Anderson Dies
Retired Union Carbide Chairman Warren M. Anderson dies on Sept. 29 at the age of
92. Mr. Anderson joined Union Carbide in 1945 and was involved in the corporations
chemicals and plastics businesses, as well as it industrial gases, metals and carbon
businesses during his 44 years with Union Carbide. He was elected chairman of the
board and chief executive officer in 1982. He retired in 1986.

2015
Aug Media Reports Incineration of Trial Waste from Bhopal Plant
The media reports that the Pithampur waste treatment storage and disposal facility
(TSDF) in Madhya Pradeshs Dhar district incinerates 10 tons of trial waste from the
Bhopal plant site. Officials state the levels of emissions and ambient air quality from
the burning are within permissible limits. A full report on the trial incineration results
will be submitted to the Supreme Court, with the media adding that officials expect the
remaining waste (some 335 tons) to be burnt at the same place, using the same
technology and the same control parameters.

Reports, Studies, UCC Opinions, and Court


Decisions
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The following will provide additional information and insight with regard to the tragedy in
Bhopal, India.
Investigation of Large-Magnitude Incidents: Bhopal as a Case Study (152KB PDF), Ashok S.
Kalelkar, Arthur D. Little, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, May 1988.
Union Carbide: Disaster at Bhopal (136KB PDF), by Jackson B. Browning, Retired Vice
President, Health, Safety, and Environmental Programs, Union Carbide Corporation, Copyright
1993.
Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board's press release announcing it had taken over control
the Bhopal plant, July 28, 1998.
Opinion of the Attorney-General of India: Extradition of Mr. Warren Anderson, August 6, 2001.
UCC statement on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholding upholding the dismissal
of remaining claims for property damages, remediation in the case of Bano vs. Union Carbide
Corporation, Aug. 10, 2006.
U.S. Court Decisions:
U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms Transfer of Litigation to India. Court Rules that UCIL is a separate
entity, owned, managed and operated exclusively by Indian citizens in Inida, January, 14, 1987.
Opinion of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York in the case of Bano vs. Union
Carbide Corporation (271KB PDF) Aug. 10, 2006.
Opinion of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York in the Janki Bai Sahu v. Union
Carbide Corp. case, June 26, 2012 (Sahu I)
Opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the Janki Bai Sahu v. Union
Carbide Corp. case, June 27, 2013.
Opinion of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York in the Jagarnath Sahu v. Union
Carbide Corporation and Madhya Pradesh State case, July 30, 2014 (Sahu II)
Indian Court Rulings:

Decision on the 1989 Settlement:

1991 Decision Upholding of the 1989 Settlement:

Part 1

Part 2

2007 Decision Upholding the 1989 Settlement:

Union Carbide statements on the Government of India's and related parties' 2011 legal
filings regarding the Bhopal settlement:
o

Union Carbide Responds To Filing Of the Curative Petition by the Government of India,
Feb. 28, 2011.

Union Carbide Response Regarding the Curative Petition, Nov. 18, 2011.

Union Carbide Response to Certain Interest Groups Applications in the Curative Petition
Proceeding, Nov. 18, 2011.