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ExxonMobil, City of St. Paul in Eminent Domain Battle

June 6, 2006

ST. PAUL, Minn. — ExxonMobil and the city of St. Paul, Minn., are in an eminent domain battle for land that stored fuel from the 1940s to the early 1990s.

The city wants to use land once owned and operated by Koch Petroleum Group and ExxonMobil for residential development. Koch Petroleum gave the land to the city to begin building.

Yet ExxonMobil refused, claiming the land is contaminated.

"Our St. Paul site has a long history of industrial use," the company said in a statement. "Ongoing remediation activities are being conducted and there are continuing uncertainties regarding public health and safety risks."

St. Paul's Mayor Chris Coleman cannot understand the resistance, since, he said, Minnesota's Pollution Control Agency studied the property and said development could proceed.

"This is the world's most profitable corporation in history. They made more money last year than any corporation has ever…this is insignificant to them in a worldwide enterprise. It's unbelievably important to the city of St. Paul," Coleman said.

So far, two lower courts have sided with the city, leaving ExxonMobil to appeal to Minnesota state Supreme Court.

Even though legal disputes have not ended, development will begin on the land. The first homeowners are expected to move in this summer.