NL Industries Files Suit Against “Public Polluters” Of Raritan Bay Superfund Site

OLD BRIDGE – NL Industries has filed suit in federal court against Old Bridge Township, the state of New Jersey and the United States Army Corps of Engineers in an attempt to force them them to pay to clean up the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site.

NL Industries alleges that these so-called “public polluters” are responsible for the majority of the problem at the site because they allowed the use of lead-bearing slag there and did nothing about it for 40 years, causing the initial problem to become eight times larger and much more expensive to address.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a Record of Decision last month that requires a $79 million total off-site disposal remedy.

According to a company statement, NL Industries’ only connection to the Raritan Bay site  is that a former facility in Perth Amboy might have been one of the places where private developers obtained material they deposited at the site. NL never owned or leased any property at the Superfund site, never operated there, never dumped any material there, and played no role in the decision to place lead-bearing material in the water, according to the statement.

NL Industries has  worked with local, state and federal officials for the past several years to develop a cleanup plan for the site.

The company alleges that Old Bridge Township, the State of New Jersey, and the USACE knew about and allowed the use of slag for construction of a seawall at the site, and the township entered into a contract with the private developer who built the seawall.

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