A ruling on the settlement between New Jersey and Exxon Mobil Corp. over pollution may not be the final legal word.
A state judge heard arguments from the state and company on Thursday on why they want him to approve a $225 million settlement.
Environmental groups and critics of Gov. Chris Christie see it as a giveaway to the company considering the state had been seeking $8.9 billion in the case.
The environmental groups are still pushing to be allowed to intervene in the case. That designation could give them stronger standing to appeal if Judge Michael Hogan accepts the settlement.
They may seek a delay in his ruling while an appeals court decides whether they can intervene.
Hogan says he plans to rule in late August.