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National Lead

In 2009, NY/NJ Baykeeper and Edison Wetlands Association sued National Lead Industries and numerous co-defendants under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Clean Water Act for discharging hazardous waste and contaminants to the Raritan River in Sayreville. National Lead operated a pigment factory on a site on the Raritan and its misoperation severely contaminated the River and its sediments with various heavy metals including arsenic, lead, nickel, copper and zinc.

In 2010, the District of New Jersey dismissed our case, saying that federal courts should abstain from deciding the issue because it was too complex and because NJDEP was already working on a regional plan. However, in fall 2011, the Third Circuit reversed that decision, deciding that abstemption was inappropriate in these circumstances, that there was no regional plan and that the federal courts are competent to decide cases such as these. Because of our victory in the Circuit Court, the case was remanded to the District Court of New Jersey and is now proceeding.