N.J. court: Polluters can file court claims earlier

Polluters in New Jersey won’t have to wait for the completion of an environmental review and remediation action before they can file court claims to get others to share in the cleanup.

New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case involving a gasoline and refueling station in Millstone Township found to have contaminated ground and water.

Magic Petroleum Corp., which bought the lot in the early 1990s, was deemed liable for the cleanup costs by the state Environmental Protection Department.

While the DEP review of the site was in progress, Magic went to court to try and have ExxonMobil, which operated an adjacent station, share in the costs.

Lower courts had said that Magic needed to wait until the DEP review was completed before filing its court claim.

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