State reaches agreement with companies over Hudson County sites cleanup

TRENTON – Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin and New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow announced today the state has reached a settlement with Honeywell International Inc., Occidental Chemical Corp., and PPG Industries, Inc. to reimburse the state for the cleanup of numerous chromium contaminated sites in Hudson County, and also to establish responsibility for continued cleanup work.

The proposed settlement calls for each of the companies to pay $5 million, or a total of $15 million, to the state. Honeywell also has agreed to reimburse the state up to an additional $1 million for work the state already has initiated at a contaminated site in Jersey City.

The settlement also requires the companies to accept responsibility for 42 “orphan sites,” all but one located in Jersey City. These are properties contaminated with chrome chemical production waste (CCPW) for which no company previously accepted responsibility. Also, the companies must continue to remediate or monitor 126 sites listed in previous Administrative Consent Orders (ACO) with the State in accordance with a schedule to be developed and agreed to by the State.

“This is a major accomplishment in dealing with contamination that has long affected many residents of North Jersey,” said  Martin in a release. “If approved by the courts, the settlement will reimburse taxpayers for cleanup work the state already has done. Also, it ensures the cleanup and restoration of chromium-tainted sites will continue, allowing residents living near these sites to have a better quality of life in cleaner, healthier neighborhoods.”

“This is a significant settlement, and an excellent example of government achieving an important outcome – one that will improve both our state’s environment and quality of life – through litigation,” said Attorney General Dow in a release. “We remain committed to working in partnership with DEP to ensure the clean-up and restoration of contaminated properties throughout New Jersey.”

Notice of the proposed settlement, including a list of contaminated sites, is published in the June 20 edition of the New Jersey Register, and the full text of the proposed settlement will be available for inspection at https://nyoobserver.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/honeywell_chrome_cj_201106201.pdf. If the DEP decides to proceed with the settlement after public comment, the document will be presented to Superior Court Judge Thomas Olivieri in Hudson County for approval.

State reaches agreement with companies over Hudson County sites cleanup