State court gives local governments power to push polluters to clean up spills

oil spill, Bound Brook

TOM JOHNSON / NJ SPOTLIGHT – In a case that may boost the ability of the state to force polluters to clean up spills, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled local governments can impose significant penalties against companies responsible for unauthorized discharges of hazardous substances.

The ruling by the appellate division last month is viewed by environmentalists as affording the state and municipalities a critical tool to force cleanups by levying penalties of up to $50,000 a day for violations involving the New Jersey Spill and Compensation Act.

The case involved an oil spill from three electrical transformers in Milltown that flowed into a local brook when they were improperly demolished on property belonging to the Alsol Corp …

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