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New Jersey Files Lawsuit Against ExxonMobil For Gloucester County Contamination

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The State of New Jersey filed a six-count lawsuit against ExxonMobil seeking damages for alleged dumping activity in East Greenwich Township and Paulsboro Borough dating back to the 1950s. The lawsuit includes claims for Natural Resource Damages.  According to the news release by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), the property was used by Mobil Corp. to dispose of drums containing petroleum products and other hazardous substances resulting in PCB contamination.  These activities, according to NJDEP, resulted in discharges to adjacent wetlands and waterways, which flowed directly to the Delaware River, supporting the Natural Resource Damages claims.

Notably, this is the fifth case brought by the Attorney General for Natural Resource Damages since the beginning of 2018.  This lawsuit is also the first one filed by New Jersey against ExxonMobil since the widely publicized, and controversial, settlement with ExxonMobil for claims related to its Bayway and Bayonne refineries in 2015.  The change in Administration in Trenton has marked a vast shift in the State’s treatment of contamination and Natural Resource Damages.  Both the Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal, and NJDEP Commissioner, Catherine McCabe, in announcing this lawsuit, made statements indicating both an interest and willingness to bring claims against alleged polluters, including those related to the contamination of wetlands and New Jersey’s waterways.

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