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, 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

  • Newark and Camden receive $400K each to clean up contaminated sites. https://t.co/x3V6AZHkOb
    1 month ago
  • Murphy Administration rejects golf course expansion onto Liberty State Park. https://t.co/cy8lGbz1uJ
    1 month ago
  • Preservationists score big win in fight to protect Princeton Battlefield. https://t.co/80vdiYX0GQ
    1 month ago
  • Glass recycling plant breaks ground on former quarry land in Sussex County. https://t.co/puNFMPIaOe
    1 month ago

Recent Blog Posts

United States Supreme Court Tackles Key Clean Water Act Judicial Review Issue

National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, et al. 583 U.S. ____ (2018) Decided January 22, 2018 Since the passing of the Clean Water Act in 1972, the definition of “the waters
Read More
United States Supreme Court Tackles Key Clean Water Act Judicial Review Issue

New Jersey Voters to Decide Important State Constitutional Amendment concerning the Environment

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, New Jersey voters will be asked to decide on a state constitutional amendment regarding the use of natural resource damages collected by the State in
Read More
New Jersey Voters to Decide Important State Constitutional Amendment  concerning the Environment

Appellate Division Case Demonstrates Importance of Carefully Negotiated Escrow Agreements

Real estate transactions involving commercial and residential properties frequently employ the use of escrow agreements to address potential environmental issues.  This practice is widespread in New Jersey and it permits
Read More
Appellate Division Case Demonstrates Importance of Carefully Negotiated Escrow Agreements

NJDEP Updates Soil Remediation Standards for 19 Contaminants

Effective September 18, 2017, new soil remediation standards govern the cleanup of contaminated sites in New Jersey.  The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) recently updated remedial standards for
Read More
NJDEP Updates Soil Remediation Standards for 19 Contaminants

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

Quick Contact Form