TRENTON — ExxonMobil faces a six-count lawsuit from the state of New Jersey alleging the company's years of industrial contamination has harmed the state's wetlands and waterways.
According to a March 7 news release from the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, the lawsuit alleges ExxonMobil has been involved in the dumping of petroleum and other hazardous products for decades at its Lail site in East Greenwich Township and Paulsboro Borough.
Inspections and testing of the site, which is in a tidal area of the Delaware estuary and connected to a creek that flows into the Delaware River, contains polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs). The contamination stems from drums dumped at the site, which were removed in the mid-1990s, but left groundwater, soil, wetland, surface water and sediment remains, according to the Attorney General's Office.
“We’re going to bring the hammer down on polluters and hold them responsible for the damage they’ve caused in the Garden State,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. “We have strong laws on the books to require companies to clean up their mess and we’re going to keep using them. While the last administration settled many claims with Exxon, it did not settle them all, and our action continues the environmental efforts that New Jersey began over a decade ago."
“Clean and thriving wetlands, sediments, ground and surface waters are critical to healthy ecosystems, and where they are harmed, DEP will work with the Attorney General’s Office to bring a case for natural resource damages," added Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe.
The lawsuit alleges ExxonMobil's actions violate state Spill Compensation and Control Act and the Water Pollution Control Act, according to the Attorney General's release.