TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin recently reached a $190 million settlement agreement with Occidental Chemical for cleanup and damages related to alleged contamination of the Passaic River.

The proposed settlement is now subject to a public comment period and review by a Superior Court judge. The proposal also calls for $50 million of the company’s payment to be used for natural resource restoration projects in and around the Newark Bay Complex.

“If approved, this is an important legal outcome for the residents of New Jersey and for our environment,” Hoffman said.

“The citizens of our state should not be forced to shoulder the cost of repairing damage to one of our most precious natural resources – the Passaic River -- by industrial polluters. Our objective throughout the Passaic River litigation has been to hold accountable those legally responsible for contaminating the river, and we have done so.”

Occidental was the lone remaining defendant sued by the state over Passaic River contamination. If approved, the settlement will bring the total amount recovered by New Jersey as a result of Passaic River litigation to $355.4 million.

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