NJ lawmakers vote… on busy day in Trenton

Read the full story at: NorthJersey.com

“Superfund shirkers

The state pension system would be banned from investing in companies that avoid paying to remediate highly contaminated and hazardous “Superfund” sites in New Jersey under a measure approved unanimously by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The bipartisan bill, A-4814, was prompted by an apparent scheme affecting the Diamond Alkali site in Newark, which produced Agent Orange and other agricultural chemicals and caused widespread contamination in the Passaic River. The facility was designated a Superfund site in 1984.

According to the bill, an Argentinian state-owned oil company, YPF S.A., bought the company responsible for the cleanup but quickly drove it into bankruptcy when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last year that remediation of the site would cost $1.38 billion.

“Companies should know we will hold them accountable for poisoning New Jersey’s environment,” one of the bill’s sponsors, Assemblyman Kevin Rooney, R-Wyckoff, said in a statement. “Bankruptcy laws should not be used as shields for companies to escape their duty to clean up their mess.”

The measure has also cleared a Senate committee but is yet to receive a vote in the full Senate or Assembly.”