Court ap­proves N. Jersey gover­nor’s US$225 mil. set­tle­ment with Exxon

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

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

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