In January 2005, the government called on Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil to stop the practice of storing chemicals at and below their facilities in Brazil and to help workers and local residents with health complaints arising from the high concentrations of chemicals and heavy metals in their blood.
The complainants charge the companies have demonstrated little concern for their own employees and local residents.
This case was filed simultaneously with the complaint concerning Shell’s Pandacan oil depot in the Philippines (see: Fenceline Community, FOE NL vs. Shell).
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Version 2000 Chapter II
- Version 2000 Chapter II Paragraph II.1
- Version 2000 Chapter II Paragraph II.5
- Version 2000 Chapter V
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.1 Subparagraph V.1.A
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.1 Subparagraph V.1.B
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.1 Subparagraph V.1.C
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.3
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.4
In June 2006, the Brazilian NCP conducted an initial assessment and accepted the complaint as a specific instance. The Dutch NCP also wrote to the Brazilian NCP and “offered its assistance in the handling of the instance’’ by providing suggestions on how it would handle the case and declaring it would closely follow the case.
The case against Exxon was dropped as the NCP regarged Shell to be mainly responsible for responding to the allegations in the complaint. Shell responded to the complaint stating that the alleged violations were already being considered by domestic legal bodies and thus should not be considered under the NCP/OECD Guidelines process. In early 2007 the NCP decided not to “interfere” in the legal proceedings by further examining the issues and requested that the complainants make specific proposals for areas that could be negotiated with the Shell that were not covered by any parallel legal proceeding. On 7 April 2007 the complainants provided suggestions, but Shell refused to agree to mediation, again claiming that the issues were under judicial review. The NCP thus concluded that its involvement in the case would not be effective and decided to terminate the specific instance in the NCP framework on 20 March 2008.
The complainants are disappointed with the NCP’s refusal to examine the merits of the allegations due to the existence of parallel legal proceedings and its limited contact with the complainants.
- Company in violation
- Affected people
- Other NCP's where the complaint was filed
- Date rejected / concluded
- 20 March 2008