New Jersey Approves Constitutional Amendment to Earmark Monies for Environmental Clean-Up
Nearly 70 percent of New Jersey voters approved a ballot measure on Tuesday that will ensure that monies paid by polluters will be used to actually clean-up contamination and that future governors will not be able to redirect the funds. This issue was on the ballot as the result of New Jersey’s settlement with ExxonMobil. Governor Christie settled with ExxonMobil for more than $225 million but a cap of funds for natural resource damages meant that the majority of the damages collected would not be used for the restoration and remediation of contaminated land. The outcome of the ballot question and the resulting constitutional amendment will cause controversy in determining if and how much money will be allocated to a particular site, if any, for remediation and restoration but the money will have to be used for environmental restoration and not directed to the general funds.