Rep. Pascrell Urges NJDEP to Reject Settlement with Passaic River Polluter

Calls for 100 percent of settlement to go towards cleanup of Passaic River instead of plugging State’s budget gaps

PATERSON – Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) called on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to reject the $190 million settlement agreement between NJDEP and Occidental Chemical Corporation over toxic pollution in the Passaic River. In a letter to NJDEP, Rep. Pascrell points out that more that 80 percent of the settlement will go to the State General Fund and not the restoration of the Passaic River.

“Polluters and responsible parties, not the taxpayers, must be the ones who pay for the full cleanup and restoration of the Passaic River,” Pascrell wrote in a letter to NJDEP. “Unfortunately, the State of New Jersey is planning on spending just $67 million of the total $355.4 million in settlements they have reached to date, including just $50 million of the $190 million in this proposed settlement, on future restoration projects. Settlement decisions should be driven by the facts of the case and the injury to the victims who live alongside the Passaic River, not the state’s fiscal condition.”

Before the settlement can be approved, NJDEP is required to solicit public comments on the proposed settlement and decide to accept or reject the offer.

Posted October 21 2014 at 8:12 PM Permanent Link

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