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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2005

Contact: Peter Boger
(609) 984-1795

DEP ANNOUNCES NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE SETTLEMENT

SP Industries Settles Liability for Injuries to Ground Water at Vineland Site

(05/66) TRENTON -- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced the voluntary settlement of natural resource damage (NRD) liability with SP Industries for injuries to ground water at their Peach Street facility in Vineland. The company has agreed to pay DEP $65,641 to be used toward a restoration project.

"Once again, corporations are getting the message," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "New Jersey will not permit companies to threaten our environment or jeopardize public health."

"Through the initiative of business leaders like SP Industries that resolve their liability without litigation, New Jersey is compensating residents for the lost use of shared natural resources," said Commissioner Campbell. "Other businesses should recognize that they will be held accountable for NRD injuries and should step up now to make amends."

The settlement resolves the company's NRD liability for a 1.2-acre volatile organic compound (VOC) plume in the groundwater at its laboratory glassware site in Vineland. DEP will use the settlement money for an as yet to-be-determined restoration project, pooling this money with other settlements toward the purchase of land protecting ground water in Vineland's watershed.

This is the second NRD settlement executed by DEP and SP Industries. The first settlement in January of this year was for $56,586 to compensate for a 2.5-acre plume of chromium contaminated groundwater at the Wilmad Glass site in Buena Vista, Atlantic County.

New Jersey's Spill Compensation and Control Act makes any entity that has discharged hazardous substances onto the land or into the waters of the state liable for both cleanup and for natural resource injuries. NRD claims are separate from the costs associated with cleaning up contamination. NRD claims compensate the residents of New Jersey for the injury and lost use of natural resources due to contamination. Injuries can refer to both ecological injuries to wetlands, wildlife, ground water or surface water and to human use injuries such as the closure of a waterway to fishing, a beach to swimming or an aquifer for use as drinking water supply.

In the past three years, DEP and the New Jersey Attorney General's Office have filed NRD complaints against more than 50 companies alleged to have polluted more than 300 sites. In all, the state has negotiated more NRD compensation, including protection of more than 2,200 acres, from polluters in the past three years than the previous 10 years of New Jersey's NRD program.

The proposed NRD settlement with SP Industries appeared in the May 16, 2005 New Jersey Register and is subject to a 30-day public comment period.

 

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