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Council to Hold Closed Session on Passaic River Suit

Summit's Common Council will discuss the Department of Environmental Protection lawsuit against Occidental Chemical on Tuesday night, with a possible public session at 9p.m.

Last week city officials announced that a closed session resolution would be considered at a council meeting at 7p.m., tonight. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss "Passaic River Litigation relative to DEP v. Occidental Chemical, et al".

In 2005, the state directed three companies (Occidental Chemical Corporation, Maxus Energy Corporation and Tierra Solutions, Inc.) to pay $2.3 million to develop a plan to dredge contaminated sediments in a six-mile stretch of the Lower Passaic River, the first step in reducing dioxin contamination levels, .

According to an NJDEP release, for more than two decades Occidental Chemical Corporation, its predecessors and others intentionally discharged dioxins and various other pesticides and chemicals into the Passaic River.

The council will meet with the public at 9p.m. Tuesday night to discuss the city's position on the suit. In the event the closed session meeting runs too long, a public special meeting is planned for Wednesday at 7p.m. in the Council Chamber.

TomK May 22, 2012 at 04:28 PM
It would be nice if the state could easily identify the sources of all contaminants in the riverbed and send out a bill, but it can't. As the ensuing litigation against towns/cities has pointed out, there have been literally thousands of parties to various contaminants going back many years, including runoff from every property owner (past & present) along the river. Why not just sue them all? NJDEP has probably already spent a fortune in legal expenses and now the towns are having to shell out $$ to lawyers. For gawd's sake NJDEP, just drop the suit and clean it up - in other words, do your job. I think NJ can come up with $2.3 million. The state is going to have to bail out the towns anyway, once they go broke from paying legal fees.

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