Search Site
Menu
U.S. District Court Allows NJ Superfund Site Suit to Proceed

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp ruled that lead smelting company NL Industries (formerly National Lead) may maintain an action against over two dozen defendants for contribution relating to the clean-up of the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund site.

The site in question includes the Laurence Harbor seawall adjacent to Waterfront Park in Old Bridge Township, the western jetty in Sayreville, including sections of the Cheesequake Creek Inlet proceeding into the Raritan Bay, and a section of about 50 acres of Margaret’s Creek. NL Industries historically operated a smelting plant in Perth Amboy, near the Superfund site. The site was added to the Superfund list in 2009 after state and federal environmental officials discovered high levels of lead in the Raritan Bay near the site. Officials also closed large parts of the nearby beach and Waterfront Park in response.

In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered NL Industries to conduct an environmental clean-up of the site. EPA contended that NL Industries was responsible for decades of lead pollution in the area and ordered the company to pay for the estimated $78.7 million clean-up.

In response, NL Industries filed suit against Old Bridge Township, Middlesex County, the Army Corps of Engineers and some two dozen individual companies which, according to NL Industry’s attorney, are “more responsible” for the costs of environmental remediation at the site. In the District Court’s recent decision, Judge Shipp dismissed NL’s claims under the New Jersey Spill Act, stating that NL had not yet spent any money on the clean-up, a requirement of a contribution claim under the statute. However, the District Court permitted NL’s claims pursuant to the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) to continue.

The attorneys at Lieberman Blecher & Sinkevich P.C. regularly assist clients with environmental issues that arise in the context of site remediation and claims involving both CERCLA and the Spill Act. In addition, our attorneys are highly experienced in areas of land use, real estate, redevelopment, and regulatory permitting, compliance, and enforcement. We have assisted many property owners (both plaintiffs and defendants) in contribution actions under the Spill Act and our attorneys are poised to address the impact of this recent decision in present and future cases.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • New Jersey Legislature Passes National Precedent Setting Environmental Justice Bill. https://t.co/P8ybU2UrtD
    2 months ago
  • New Jersey files 12 new environmental justice lawsuits. https://t.co/jYo1yCwTOa
    2 months ago
  • Plans Underway for Building Offshore Wind Farms Along the New Jersey Coast. https://t.co/S4CDX5DMS0
    3 months ago
  • Energy companies cancel construction of Atlantic Coast Pipeline. https://t.co/aDYHr4nhal
    3 months ago

Recent Blog Posts

Lead Exposure and Frivolous Litigation

Owners of older residential properties are likely familiar with the legal requirement to provide warnings concerning the existence of lead. Lead exposure, particularly amongst children, can result in severe, even
Read More
Lead Exposure and Frivolous Litigation

New Jersey Supreme Court rules the PLA does not preempt CFA claims by consumers

Now more than ever, consumer protection is important. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we see new products on our shelves, promising safe disinfection for hands and surfaces as
Read More
New Jersey Supreme Court rules the PLA does not preempt CFA claims by consumers

Notices and Appellate Review of a CAFRA Permit

In JSTAR, LLC v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, et al., Docket No. A-1745-18T1, the Appellate Division in an unpublished decision revisited the issues of notice and a review
Read More
Notices and Appellate Review of a CAFRA Permit

Preemption Isn’t Always the Answer: The Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County Law Division highlights the necessary harmony between State legislation and municipal land use ordinances

On November 20, 2019, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County Law Division, issued an opinion in the matter captioned Lakeview Memorial Park Association v. Burlington County Construction Board
Read More
Preemption Isn’t Always the Answer: The Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County Law Division highlights the necessary harmony between State legislation and municipal land use ordinances

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form