Environmental groups challenge New Jersey’s $225m deal with Exxon as insufficient

 New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel says a settlement between the New Jersey and Exxon  violates the state's Spill Act because it does not require Exxon to clean up the wetlands it polluted. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups are seeking to have the deal overturned. (AP file photo)

New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel says a settlement between the New Jersey and Exxon violates the state's Spill Act because it does not require Exxon to clean up the wetlands it polluted. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups are seeking to have the deal overturned. (AP file photo)

Environmental groups in New Jersey are asking an appellate court to overturn the state’s $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil over pollution at the company’s refineries and other sites.

 

New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel said the settlement was arbitrary and violates the New Jersey Spill Act because it does not require Exxon to clean up the wetlands it polluted.

“The worst part is it’s a sellout where we’re getting pennies on the dollar for all this pollution in a state that can use the money,” he said Tuesday.

Tittel said he believes the environmental groups have a good chance of winning their appeal.

“We want to hold Exxon accountable not only for all the pollution that they’ve dumped into New Jersey’s waterways and communities, but also to make sure that they not only clean up their mess but pay for the damages they’ve done to the environment.”

Judge Michael Hogan ruled last year that while the agreement is far less than the estimated $8.9 billion in damages, it’s a reasonable compromise considering the substantial litigation risk the state faced if it went to trial.

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