TRENTON - A New Jersey judge has denied a petition from a Democratic state senator and environmental groups to intervene in the state's $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil over contaminated sites across the state.

Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan said Friday he denied state Sen. Raymond Lesniak and the four groups because they did not have standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place.

The environmental groups sought to intervene to force extensive cleanup at the affected sites and to recoup more money.

The Department of Environmental Protection and Hogan in an earlier opinion reiterated Exxon must still clean the sites.

Environmental groups worry those efforts will be too minimal.

New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel says a further appeal is planned.

Hogan previously denied a request to intervene.