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Judge OKs $165M accords in NJ river pollution suit


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey will get more than $165 million stemming from lawsuits over pollution in the Passaic River.

Two settlements announced by the Department of Environmental Protection Friday also mean the state can proceed immediately with a larger lawsuit against Occidental Chemical Corp. The state claims a predecessor of Occidental, Diamond Shamrock Chemicals Company, dumped toxins including Agent Orange into the Passaic River from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Under the settlements announced Friday, $130 million will be paid to the state by several defendants including Spanish oil company Repsol, S.A.; YPF, S.A., an Argentina-based energy conglomerate; Maxus Energy Corp.; Maxus International Energy Co.; CLH Holdings and Tierra Solutions.

In the second settlement, 261 third-party defendants — including municipalities and public entities — will pay the state more than $35 million.