NJ reimbursed for school site clean-up

Ashley Stinnett Sep. 1, 2009, 12:03am

Anne Milgram (D)

TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram on Monday announced the state is being reimbursed $866,932 for costs incurred after cleaning up a polluted school site thanks to a superior court judge's ruling.

The ruling comes on the heels of a nine-day trial in which Superior Court Judge Ross Anzaldi ruled Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. and Power Test Reality are liable for gas and oil related contamination at a former gas station site.

The judge also ruled both New York-based companies "abrogated their responsibility to take appropriate action" to address the pollution problem, and were unjustly enriched because they received fair market value for the property.

In 2006, the state along with the Schools Development Authority filed a lawsuit alleging the companies failed to get rid of hazardous materials on property the school board purchased.

"This is an important decision for the citizens of New Jersey," Milgram said.

"Substantial public dollars were invested in the clean-up of this property, and it's only fair that the responsible parties - those who allowed it to become contaminated and failed to meet their duty to remove that contamination - should pay."

The Schools Development Authority purchased Elizabeth-based site in 2003.

In 2004, a series of tests ran by the Getty Petroleum and the state revealed the property along with the groundwater was contaminated with benzene, xylene, ethyl benzene and methyl tertiary ether, according to Milgram.

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