NJ files 6 lawsuits targeting pollution in poorer areas

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New Jersey is suing several defendants over six polluted sites in mostly poor and minority communities in the state.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe announced that the lawsuits were filed Friday in state superior court.

Grewal says the state is sending a message to polluters that they will be held accountable. The sites are in every region of the state, including Newark, Trenton and Camden, and involve former dumps, dry cleaners and a metal finishing factory.

"You see when the same communities are exposed to the worst pollution over and over again, they end up facing greater health risks,” says Grewal. “And that's fundamentally unfair. No one's health or wellbeing should suffer simply because of their race, their origin, or their socio-economic background."

Grewal and McCabe have worked together to sue companies over pollution before, bringing eight cases in December.

It's a change under Gov. Phil Murphy's administration, which began pursuing similar environmental cases that languished under the Christie administration.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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