Assembly panel targets $225 million Exxon settlement

Exxon settlement (File Photo)

Exxon settlement (File Photo) (3/19/15)

TRENTON - (AP) - An Assembly panel has advanced measures requiring that more money from environmental settlements be used for cleanup and extending the public notice period for pending settlements.

The measures were passed by the Judiciary Committee Thursday after a hearing on the Christie administration's proposed $225 million environmental settlement with Exxon Mobil.

The first measure would require that one half of any money recovered over $50 million is used for cleanup. The second would extend the public comment period from 30 days to 60.

The settlement enraged Democrats who control the Legislature because court documents show damages were estimated at $8.9 billion.

Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts says that the hearing is another act of partisan political theater. He called it a "historic and fair settlement" that has been in the works since Gov. Jon Corzine's administration.

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