Trenton – The Senate has approved a resolution, SR-129, sponsored by Senate President Nick Scutari, urging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to use funds from New Jersey Superfund settlements exclusively for remediating the contaminated sites at issue, and to limit the portion of the settlements used for administrative and oversight costs.
“It is important that the EPA recognizes the vital need New Jersey has to clean contaminated Superfund sites,” said Senator Scutari. “The settlement funds should be used for remediation work at the sites and the portion of the settlements used for the agency’s administrative costs should be strictly limited. The actual clean-up work should be the priority.”
The resolution is in response to recent actions involving the upper nine miles of the Lower Passaic River Study Area of the Diamond Alkali Superfund site in Newark, where a 2022 consent decree released 85 private parties from liability to clean up pollution they contributed to. They were required to pay only $150 million to the EPA for clean-up work estimated to cost $1.38 billion.
It is not clear whether the $150 million paid to the EPA will go towards the remediation or the EPA administrative costs.
The resolution urges the EPA to follow New Jersey’s practice of limiting the portion of settlements used for administrative and oversight costs to a maximum of 10 percent.
New Jersey has 829 Superfund sites, including 115 on the Superfund National Priorities List, the most in the country.
The resolution was supported by the Senate with a voice vote.