It took more than a decade, but Roseann Bongiovanni, an environmental activist from Chelsea, Mass., has reason to celebrate: Her nonprofit, along with other local environmental groups, finally received more than $1 million to restore the wetlands and shoreline along the Mystic River.

The distribution, finalized last Thursday, comes from a settlement after a 2006 spill at ExxonMobil's Everett, Mass. terminal that dumped more than 15,000 gallons of diesel and kerosene into the Mystic River. The settlement, which stemmed from a federal lawsuit, ordered the company to pay nearly $6 million for the damage.

"Now, 13 years later, this money is coming back to help restore our urban watershed," Bongiovanni said.

While this may be a win, Bongiovanni and other local environmentalists remain engaged in a different battle with ExxonMobil that’s been waged since 2016 over another concern: the storm readiness of the company's Everett terminal.

Her group is at the forefront of an effort to get ExxonMobil to be more transparent about how its nearby Everett plant is prepared to handle a major storm. Bordered by the Mystic and Island End Rivers, the facility stores and distributes petroleum products including gasoline, heating oil and fuel additives.

"Folks think about climate change in 20, 30, 40, 50 years. We’re seeing it right now,” said Bongiovanni, executive director of the nonprofit GreenRoots. "We’re seeing increased storms, increased erratic weather, we’ve seen increased flooding."

The allegation that the Everett terminal is unprepared for a severe storm is at the heart of an ongoing lawsuit against ExxonMobil brought in 2016 by the nonprofit Conservation Law Foundation. The suit also alleges the Everett terminal’s wastewater treatment system is unable to handle current heavy rains and is discharging dangerous levels of chemicals.

“As a result of those intense rains, that treatment system is being overwhelmed on a regular basis, leading to violations of their Clean Water Act permit and leaving exposure of local waters and local communities to some pretty powerful carcinogens and other toxins,” said Brad Campbell, president of the Conservation Law Foundation.

ExxonMobil spokesperson Todd M. Spitler said in a statement the company is “in compliance” with its federal permit and called the CLF allegations “factually and legally inaccurate.”

Under the federal Clean Water Act, the federal government’s primary law for protecting waterways, facilities like ExxonMobil’s Everett terminal can be granted a permit to pollute and discharge a limited level of pollution into waterways. That permit is also meant to reduce or prevent the release of contaminated storm water.

The permit for ExxonMobil's Everett terminal expired in 2014, but Exxon reapplied and received administrative approval to continue operating under the expired permit. The EPA allows facilities to operate under old permits awaiting review, citing a backlog of permits that need reviewing.

A federal judge has yet to rule on ExxonMobil’s request to suspend the lawsuit while its permit awaits renewal review by the EPA.

When asked if area residents should be concerned about the potential impact on the terminal of a storm surge or extreme weather, ExxonMobil spokesperson Spitler said, “In recent storms of magnitude, the storm water discharge system, including its treatment system, has operated properly."

Alex Train, assistant director of planning and development for the city of Chelsea, said the city has "almost no knowledge of what goes on at that facility."

“They share very little information with the surrounding communities about their facility, its design and the emergency response measures,” Train said.

Maps, based on National Weather Service and created and released by the Army Corps of Engineering and other state agencies in 2014, show the Everett facility could be inundated by even a Category One hurricane.

"If there was a catastrophic weather event, we’re really concerned that all these harmful chemicals will go into people’s homes,” said Bongiovanni. “These are folks who are low-income, ethnically diverse who are the most impacted and vulnerable.”

One of the region’s major fruit and vegetable distribution points, the New England Produce Center, also sits adjacent to the Everett terminal. Train and other local environmental groups worry about possible contamination to produce from toxic materials in floodwater in the case of a weather disaster.

The New England Produce Center declined to comment for this story.

Three years ago, a group of local residents attempted to hand-deliver a letter asking ExxonMobil to fortify its Everett facility against climate change and to talk to the community about the terminal’s plans to minimize storm-related spills. The company refused to meet with the residents at the time, footage from one of the residents shows, and the residents said they never heard anything back from ExxonMobil afterwards.

The Conservation Law Foundation's lawsuit is expected to remain tied up in the courts for years, although residents would like it resolved with a more neighborly approach.

“Prove to us, rather than spending so much time to fight us, prove to us that you are climate resilient, that you are a good neighbor, that you are a good corporate partner,” said Bongiovanni.