Superior Court Judge Hogan (retired) ruled today, “The court finds that the proposed consent judgment is fair, reasonable, in the public interest, and consistent with the goals of the Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”). It therefore approves the Consent Judgment.”
The judge begins his written opinion stating, “Nearly any consent decree can be viewed simultaneously as ‘a crackdown’ or ‘a sellout.'” Environmentalists today say the Exxon and NJDEP settlement for $225 million of natural resource damages estimating more than $9 billion is a sellout. “We believe this settlement is wrong and violates the Spill Act and the Public Trust Doctrine and sells out Natural Resource Damages.” The groups plan to appeal the decision to the Appellate Court.
“The Judge has rubberstamped the biggest corporate subsidy in state history,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
“Exxon’s massive damage to New Jersey’s environment couldn’t have been more clear. Today’s decision by the Court sadly rubberstamps the Christie Administration’s sell-out settlement. This settlement still stinks,” said Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey.”
“Our Delaware River has been done a great disservice by this settlement. That the Court would sign off on this sell out by the Christie Administration without even giving us our fair day in Court is a travesty,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.
“If this seal of approval of the dirty deal between Governor Christie and Exxon Mobil is not overturned, it not only codifies it’s OK to destroy the environment and rip-off taxpayers, but provides a road map to encourage it,” said David Pringle, NJ Campaign Director, Clean Water Action.