A court decision that Mobil shouldn't have to clean up a section of contaminated waterfront sets an unfortunate precedent, an Auckland councillor says.
The council wanted $10 million to decontaminate the site, known as the tank farm, which Mobil used between 1925 and 2005.
It took the fuel company to court, saying tenancy agreements from 1985 obliged it to leave the land in good, clean order.
The Supreme Court has ruled the company had no responsibilty for underground pollution, meaning Auckland ratepayers would now have to foot the bill.
Councillor Mike Lee said it could affect other standing agreements.
"These agreements acutally go back to the harbour ward. The Wynyard Quarter and the tank farm was former Harbour Ward land and they're under long-term leases.
"So I'm sure this is a very unfortunate precedent. It's a pity things didn't stop which the Court of Appeal which decided in favour of the Auckland Council."