Cost could range from $1 billion to $4 billion
The state Department of Environmental Protection has won another round in the legal fight to hold companies that polluted the lower Passaic River with pesticides and herbicides, including the Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange, responsible for cleaning up the waterway.
“The pollution of the Passaic River is widespread and will be extremely costly to clean up,” Martin added. “These costs must be borne by those companies that assumed responsibility for their properties, not by the taxpayers of New Jersey."In each of the rulings, Lombardi determined that the companies are liable under the Spill Compensation and Control Act for all past and future cleanup and removal costs associated with hazardous discharges from the plant, which manufactured pesticides and herbicides from 1951 to 1969.
River sediments are polluted with a dangerous form of dioxin known as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzene (TCDD), as well as DDT and other chemicals that have resulted in a decades-old ban on consuming crabs from the lower Passaic and Newark Bay.