TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - More than 200 defendants will pay a total of $43 million to the State of New Jersey to settle allegations of natural resource damage at the Combe Fill South Landfill in Morris County.

New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram made the announcement Tuesday. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state's Department of Environmental Protection Agency in 1998.

The EPA $56 million in past remediation costs. The landfill is a federal Superfund site.

"This settlement is important for the residents of New Jersey and for our environment," Milgram said.

"Through this agreement, we are recovering costs incurred by the state to protect our citizens from one of the nation's most contaminated landfill sites, and obtaining compensation for damage done to natural resources."

The defendants will pay the State $12.7 million for past remediation costs and $3.2 million for natural resources damage. The other $27 million will be used for future remediation costs over the next 30 years.

It is alleged that the operators of the Combe Fill South site accepted industrial wastes, sewage sludge, septic tank wastes, chemicals and waste oils.

The landfill was placed on the National Priorities List in 1980, becoming part of the Superfund program that allowed the federal government to intervene with the site's operations.

The state DEP found significant levels of hazardous substances in groundwater and surface water at the site.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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