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Exxon Mobil Settlement

For the past 100 years, Exxon’s petroleum waste pollution within its Linden and Bayonne sites has destroyed approximately 1,700 acres of delicate salt marsh, freshwater wetlands, upland meadows, and streams. These two sites represent the largest hazardous waste sites in NJ. The Bayonne site alone has over 7 million gallons of oil floating on top of ground water.

The damage caused by Exxon was estimated to cost $8.9 billion, according to NJ Department of Environmental Protection, for the excavation, restoration, off-site mitigation, and compensation for lost public resources. However, Governor Chris Christie’s administration has quietly and quickly proposed a settlement for just $225 million. Settlement details on April 6, 2015 here. Even more crooked is that only the first $50 million out of the $225 proposed settlement would go towards site restoration due to appropriation language the Christie administration inserted in the FY 2015-2016 budget. Monies exceeding the initial $50 million would go into New Jersey’s General Fund to be used for any purpose.

Complete environmental remediation of contaminated sites should not be sacrificed for Christie’s budget shortfalls.

ExxonMobil could simply leave the pollution in place, place a cap over it, put a fence around it and walk away.  A cleanup does not restore the natural resources or provide for a functioning ecosystem.  This is what the State’s lawsuit was about, but the proposed settlement will not go nearly far enough to restore what has been lost to the public at the hands of ExxonMobil. Click here for ExxonMobil Settlement Documents

NY/NJ Baykeeper demands the court reject the Christie Administration’s Proposed Natural Resource Damages Settlement for ExxonMobil! This cheap, budget filling proposal is a shameful injustice to New Jerseyans.

What We’re Doing to Ensure a Proper Cleanup

NY/NJ Baykeeper filed to intervene in the case but the court denied our request. However our attorneys at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) were allowed to participate in the oral arguments as a “friend of the court.”  We argued that it is important that the public’s voice be heard and that wetlands, waterways and habitat are restored. Unfortunately, the court upheld the proposed settlement despite overwhelming public opposition.

Thanks to you, we generated 2,532 comments from New Jersey residents opposing the $225 million settlement.

Click here for Debbie Mans’ testimony to the NJ Senate Judiciary Committee on March 19, 2015.

 

Recent Events

Statehouse Rally on June 4, 2015 – NY/NJ Baykeeper along with NJ League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action and others participated in an  Exxon Lobby Day and Rally in Trenton on the Statehouse steps. Following the rally, folks walked to the NJDEP to deliver public comments opposing the settlement.

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