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NJDEP files Additional Natural Resource Damages claims

The State DEP continues to pursue natural resource damages (called NRD) claims. These are lawsuits where the relief sought is not just a cleanup, which is normally the relief sought by DEP. Rather in NRD cases, the relief sought includes compensation for injury to or loss of a particular natural resource. This might relate to groundwater, beaches, surface water, or fish kills.

Last month, NJDEP filed two new cases. The first suit is against Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC and Arkema Inc., alleging that both companies are responsible for contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which have allegedly contaminated public drinking water. The second lawsuit is against Honeywell International, Inc. and seeks to restore natural resources allegedly damaged by contamination from a Superfund Site along the Hudson River in Edgewater, Bergen County.

The first lawsuit seeks to compel Solvay to investigate and remediate the extent of its pollution, protect drinking water sources, and restore natural resources alleged to have been damaged by hazardous substance releases.

\The case against Honeywell alleges that its predecessor companies ran industrial operations causing discharges of contaminants into the ground and water at and near a site now known as the Quanta property along the Hudson River in Edgewater. Among other things, the complaint seeks the award of clean-up costs to the State and compensation for NRDs allegedly resulting from coal tar processing operations at a 15-acre site.

Expect more NRD lawsuits to follow. The current administration has demonstrated an aggressive approach when it comes to NRD cases and all signs indicate that this posture will continue into at least the foreseeable future.

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