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Two oil companies to pay $35m in MTBE suit in N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. — Two oil companies are paying the state of New Hampshire a total of $35 million to settle pending claims from a lawsuit alleging that they added MTBE to gasoline, knowing that it would contaminate ground water supplies, Attorney General Michael Delaney said Thursday.

The state, which sued the companies and others in 2003, contends they knew they were supplying a product with unique hazards — specifically, that MTBE,or methyl tertiary butyl ether, a petroleum-based additive, travels farther and is more difficult to clean up than other contaminants.

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