New Jersey Supreme Court Decides DEP Must Establish Nexus Between Contamination and Defendant’s Actions

October 1, 2012

Author: William F. Harrison, Esq. and Erin K. Phalon, Esq. View the article (pdf) The New Jersey Supreme Court in a September 26, 2012 unanimous decision clarified the standard that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must meet when ordering defendants to remedy contamination under the Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act). The Court found that DEP failed to establish a sufficient nexus between groundwater contamination that tainted private wells in Bound Brook and the dry cleaning operation of the Defendant, Sue’s Clothes Hanger. The Court affirmed the Appellate Division’s determination that DEP did not present evidence sufficient to demonstrate that the observed discharge of PCE from a pipe at Sue’s Clothes Hanger on a single day in 1988 resulted in Bound Brook’s groundwater contamination. To read the entire article, please click above.