The state Senate yesterday tried to quash on several fronts a controversial settlement that would resolve an $8.9 billion pollution suit against Exxon Mobil Corp. for $225 million.
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved a bill (S-2791) that would ensure one-half of the money recovered for environmental damages from waste sites would have to be used for restoration and cleanup. The move, if approved, would prevent most of the settlement money going to plug holes in the state budget.
That sort of diversion has happened in the past, most recently in a case involving dioxin pollution in the Passaic River. Of a $190 million settlement, $140 million was allocated to the general fund, instead of to restoring the river.
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