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State Recovers Millions in Environmental Clean-Up Costs

More than $29 million in environmental clean-up costs have been recovered by the state as a result of legal efforts by the Division of Law.  Attorney General Jeff Chiesa made the announcement today.  The total amount recovered, $29,939,907, is the most environmental clean-up funding ever recovered in one fiscal year since the state began tracking it in 1992.

Peter Cade, Getty Images

“These cost recoveries are important to New Jersey,” said Chiesa.  “Cleaning up polluted properties is expensive and it’s often the case that state government must front some or all of the money required to get the job done.  Through the Division of Law’s outstanding legal efforts, we have been able to recoup more than $29 million in public dollars spent in the past to rid properties of contamination and improve the quality of life for New Jersey residents.”

“We are committed to aggressively enforcing New Jersey’s environmental laws, cleaning up polluted properties and dealing as swiftly and decisively as possible with contamination issues that can affect the health and welfare of our residents,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin.  “The bill for these property cleanups should be paid by the parties that caused the contamination, not the taxpayers and residents of our state.”

The bulk of the money in cost recovery dollars came from two major settlements negotiated on behalf of the DEP.  One case involved a $15 million settlement with Honeywell, PPG and Occidental.  The companies were alleged by the state to be responsible for cleaning up chromium waste at more than 100 industrial sites in Jersey City.

The other case involved a more than $13 million settlement with more than 200 owners, operators and customers of the contaminated Burlington Environmental Management Service landfill in Southampton Township.

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