U.S. Water News Online
TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey has reached multimillion-dollar
settlements over groundwater contamination involving four properties
owned by a major pharmaceutical company, as well as several hundred
service stations owned by energy companies, state environmental
"New Jersey's residents will benefit from these monetary and land
settlements through cleaner water resources and more public habitat
to enjoy," Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell
said in a news release.
Whitehouse Station-based Merck & Co. Inc. will pay $2.4
million for contamination at properties in Rahway, Linden, Hawthorne
and Branchburg. The pharmaceutical firm is also donating 10 acres of
land near the Rahway River and funding a $30,000 restoration project
in the Passaic River watershed.
Houston-based Motiva Enterprises LLC and Shell Oil Co., one of the
two companies controlling Motiva, agreed to pay nearly $2.2 million
for groundwater contamination at their oil terminals, as well as
about 400 service stations across the state where underground storage
tanks have leaked. Shell is also providing a conservation easement
for land at the mouth of the Woodbridge River.
The companies neither acknowledged nor denied wrongdoing in the
Merck spokesman Chris Loder said it was important to note that
Merck voluntarily initiated dialogue with the state. "Merck believes
the agreement will result in significant environmental benefits for
the community," he said.
Shell and Motiva said in a statement that the companies worked
cooperatively and in good faith with state officials on the
agreement. "We consider compliance with environmental regulations of
utmost importance and share the state's goal of protecting its
natural resources," the companies' statement said.
Settlements over terminals and service station sites also included
Pennzoil-Quaker State Co., for $22,938, and Jiffy Lube International
Inc. for $28,550.
The Department of Environmental Protection also announced more
than $800,000 in settlements involving 10 sites owned by other
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