Court approves N. Jersey governor’s US$225 mil. settlement with Exxon
After originally seeking US$8.9 billion, the northeastern U.S. state New Jersey’s US$225 million settlement with ExxonMobil over dozens of polluted sites is a reasonable compromise considering the substantial legal risks the state faced, a judge ruled Tuesday in approving a deal that Governor Chris Christie’s administration called historic and opponents called a sell-out.
The settlement ending an 11-year legal battle that spanned both center-left Democratic Party and center-right Republican Party governors is “fair, reasonable, in the public interest, and consistent with the goals of the Spill Compensation and Control Act,” Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan wrote. He noted that the settlement is on top of Exxon’s responsibility to clean up the sites, which include two oil refineries in Bayonne and Linden and retail gas stations across New Jersey.
New Jersey sued ExxonMobil in 2004 for pollution dating back decades. The idea was to hold the company responsible not only for