N.J. AG announces $1.8M in settlements

Bryan Cohen Jun. 25, 2012, 8:31am


TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced on Thursday that more than $1.8 million has been recovered for the New Jersey Schools Development Authority through settlements in three environmental remediation cases.

Under the terms of a settlement, the estate of Alan Zelinger, Ethical Products Inc., Bell Construction Inc. and Coca-Cola Refreshments USA Inc. agreed to pay $800,000 to the SDA for costs connected to the environmental remediation of a property planned for the construction of the First Avenue Elementary School in Newark. The construction for the school began in 2005 and it opened its doors to students in 2007.

In a second matter, the SDA recovered a total of $863,207, including $483,535 acquired in an April settlement with Power Test Realty Company LP and Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. for costs connected to cleaning up a property acquired in Elizabeth for the Reagan Leadership School Number 30 in Elizabeth. The school was opened for students in September 2006. The SDA previously received a judgment in its favor on the matter in February 2010.

The SDA recovered $561,924 in a May settlement with Shadrall Associates for environmental remediation activities connected to the construction on a Jersey City property for Public School Number 20. Under the terms of the agreement, Shadrall Associates turned over the funds held in an escrow account established to offset costs for environmental remediation. Shadrall Associates disputed its legal responsibility to pay for the environmental cleanup under the New Jersey Spill Act. The school was identified for advancement under SDA's 2011 Capital Project Portfolio.

"This is an important outcome for the citizens of New Jersey," Chiesa said. "These cost recovery actions provide the dual benefit of cleaning up contaminated property and advancing critical school construction projects."

Since the beginning of Gov. Chris Christie's administration, more than $11 million has been recovered by the SDA cost recovery program. All recovered funds by the program go toward constructing future projects in SDA districts.

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