Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s chemical unit has agreed to pay $190 million to cover its liability for the cleanup of the Passaic River in northern New Jersey. Occidental Chemical is the legal successor to Diamond Shamrock Chemical Co., which was found to have intentionally dumped industrial waste in the river for decades, acting Attorney General John Hoffman said in a statement. If approved by a judge and the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Occidental payment will result in New Jersey having recovered $355.4 million.
Part of the settlement will cover costs associated with a $1.7 billion plan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove 4.3 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the lower eight miles (13 kilometers) of the Passaic, Hoffman said. Hoffman said:
The citizens of our state should not be forced to shoulder the cost of repairing damage to one of our most precious natural resources — the Passaic River — by industrial polluters. Our objective throughout the Passaic River litigation has been to hold accountable those legally responsible.
Eight years ago the state sued companies associated with the former Diamond Shamrock site on Lister Avenue in Newark, the state’s largest city. Diamond Shamrock from the 1940s through 1960s made pesticides and herbicides including the defoliant Agent Orange.
It was reported that OxyChem will seek reimbursement from Maxus Energy Corp., a subsidiary of YPF SA. Maxus is financially responsible for claims against OxyChem in the litigation. YPF is Argentina’s largest company. Reportedly, all of the conduct alleged in the state’s lawsuit occurred while Maxus companies owned, operated or controlled the Lister Avenue plant site. OxyChem never owned this site and bought the stock of Diamond Shamrock from Maxus in 1986, 17 years after the plant closed.
Before the sale, Maxus transferred ownership of the plant to its affiliate Tierra Solutions Inc., which still owns the site. As part of the purchase agreement, Maxus retained liability for the plant and agreed to indemnify Houston-based OxyChem, Moses said. A state court judge last year approved two settlements over the Passaic River cleanup that totaled $165.4 million.
Source: Insurance Journal
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.