AG Hoffman: ExxonMobil will pay NJ $225 million to settle pollution suit

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Exxon Mobil will pay the state of New Jersey $225 million to settle a $8.9 billion lawsuit filed against them over a decade ago to resolve liability for contaminating refinery sites in Bayonne and Elizabeth/Linden, Acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman announced. 

Photo courtesy of world bulletin.net
Photo courtesy of world bulletin.net

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“This important settlement, which came about because this administration aggressively pushed the case to trial, is the result of long fought settlement negotiations that pre-dated and post-dated the trial,” Hoffman said in a statement.

“It ensures the continuation of the ExxonMobil-funded remediation work at these contaminated sites, and it holds the company financially accountable through payment of a historic Natural Resource Damages settlement on top of Exxon’s obligation to clean up the sites.”

The New York Times reported a slightly larger settlement figure of $250 million on Friday.

Hoffman and Department of Environmental and Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, in a joint statement, added that Exxon Mobil would shoulder the unspecified costs for the DEP-monitored mediation projects at both sites.

The announcement comes hours after former DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell, in a New York Times op-ed, accused Gov. Chris Christie’s chief counsel, Christopher Porrino, of having “elbowed aside the attorney general and career employees who had developed and prosecuted the litigation.”

Yesterday, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman John McKeon (D-27) called for a March 19 hearing to establish the full details of the settlement.