Thursday, July 3, 2014

Raritan Bay Superfund site lawsuit allowed to proceed

A lawsuit filed against a New Jersey town and county and the Army Corps of Engineers over the nearly $80 million cleanup of a Raritan Bay Superfund site can proceed, a federal judge ruled this week.

The Associated Press reports:

"U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp's ruling means that NL Industries can continue its attempt to divide the costs of the cleanup of the site in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge Township. The defendants include Old Bridge, Middlesex County, the Army Corps and more than two dozen individual companies that NL Industries claims are responsible for the contamination.

"The federal Environmental Protection Agency last year announced NL Industries was responsible for lead pollution at the site dating back decades and was liable for a cleanup estimated at $78.7 million, according to court filings. The company had operated a smelting plant in nearby Perth Amboy.

"NL Industries sued, claiming it never dumped any material at the site and that the state, county and township allowed a developer to build a seawall with soil contaminated by used batteries, scrap metals and other waste trucked from its plant by a third party.

"NL Industries is suing the state in a separate action in state Superior Court, said Christopher Gardner, an attorney representing the company."

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