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Despite $8.9 billion in cleanup costs, Appellate Court upholds NJDEP’s $225 million settlement with

Despite challenges from intervening environmental groups, the New Jersey Appellate Court upheld a lower court’s approval of 1991 administrative consent orders (ACOs) between NJDEP and Exxon Mobil. The ACOs were related to penalties and remediation of polluted sites at Exxon’s Bayway Refinery in Linden, NJ and Exxon’s Bayonne, NJ facility. At the crux of the interveners’ challenge was the fact that the lower court upheld NJDEP’s acceptance of a $225 million settlement, despite the State indicating that there would be an estimated $8.9 billion in cleanup costs. The Appellate Court upheld the settlement agreements, finding that “since [the lower court Judge] conducted the trial, heard the testimony and observed the witnesses, [deference will be given] to his fact-finding and review of the evidence.”

New Jersey Dep't of Envtl. Prot. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., No. A-0668-15T1, 2018 WL 823001 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Feb. 12, 2018)

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