Friday, February 27, 2015

Exxon Settles with NJ for 10 Cents on the $1

The State of New Jersey sued Exxon for $8.9 billion in damages for polluting wetlands by the thousands of acres.  A court already heard testimony and neared a ruling when Governor Chris Christie's office asked the ruling be held so a settlement could be reached.  Word has it Exxon will pay $250 million, a mere 9.6% of $2.6 billion in actual damages.  The state's request for $6.3 billion in compensatory damages will disappear.

Bloomberg reported:

The pollution is massive, and includes pesticides, chromium, arsenic and other hazardous substances, according to the opinion by former Union County Superior Court Judge Ross Anzaldi. 

“It was estimated in 1977 that at least some 7 million gallons of oil, ranging in thickness from 7 to 17 feet, is contained in the soil and groundwater underlying a portion of the former Bayonne site alone,” according to the opinion. 

“The documented level of contamination in the waters and sediment of the Platty Kill Canal in Bayonne is so high that Exxon has recommended permanently closing and filling in the canal with an impermeable barrier (estimating 50,000 cubic yards of impacted sediments),” Anzaldi wrote.

Justice or Just Us?  It looks like another case of the latter to me.