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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Agent Orange New Jersey: Resident headed legal team in river pollution case victory



Judge Sebastian P. Lombardi, who presides in Essex County, ruled this past July that Occidental Chemical Corp. is responsible under state law for cleanup costs associated with pollution caused by the former Newark manufacturing plant, Diamond Alkali/Diamond Shamrock Chemicals Corp., according to a press release from the state's Department of Environmental Protection. Occidental Chemical Corp. acquired and merged with Diamond Alkali/Diamond Shamrock Chemicals Corp. in the 1980s.

"This ruling marks an important step in the long history of cleanup of contamination that has severely harmed the lower Passaic River and deprived the public of safe enjoyment of this resource for decades," stated DEP Commissioner Bob Martin in the press release.

According to reports, Diamond Shamrock/Diamond Alkali operated a pesticide and herbicide manufacturing plant on Lister Avenue in Newark from 1951 to 1969 that polluted the river with an extremely toxic form of dioxin that resulted from the production of Agent Orange — a defoliant that was used during the Vietnam War — along with DDT and other chemicals.


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