A judge says he is weeks away from deciding whether to allow a disputed environmental contamination settlement between New Jersey and ExxonMobil.
Judge Michael Hogan on Thursday said he expects to rule no sooner than late August.
He also denied a request from environmentalists to delay the hearings, partly because his ruling isn’t imminent.
Environmental groups are seeking to have appeals judges include them as interveners in the case.
They see the proposed $225 million in damages as a major break from Gov. Chris Christie’s administration for the oil company.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman told the judges the deal is good for the state, even though his office had previously sought $8.9 billion in damages and for the cost of cleanup.