Court declines to tear up NJ’s $225M settlement with Exxon

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey appeals court has turned down a request from environmental groups and a former state senator to undo a $225 million pollution settlement between the state and Exxon Mobil.

The state’s intermediate appeals court said Monday that the trial judge had not made a mistake in judgment when he approved the deal in 2015. Four environmental groups and former Democratic lawmaker Raymond Lesniak have argued the settlement over decades of pollution at oil refineries amounted to only pennies on the dollar. Before accepting the $225 million settlement, the state estimated it was owed $8.9 billion. The 2015 deal between Exxon and then-Gov. Chris Christie’s administration came after more than a decade of litigation. Lesniak says he’ll appeal to the state Supreme Court. The environmental groups say they’re considering whether to appeal further.