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New Jersey v. Gloucester Envtl. Management Servs., Inc.

Citation: 35 ELR 20101
No. Nos. 84-0152 (JBS), 92-3860, (D.N.J., 05/11/2005) motion to amend consent decree denied

A district court denied New Jersey's motion to amend a 1997 consent decree concerning the Gloucester Environmental Management Services, Inc., landfill and ordered it to comply with the terms of the decree. The state alleged that the detection of the presence of radionuclides requires a new remedy for the landfill. The state, however, failed to establish any change in circumstances sufficient to justify modification of the decree. Reliance on the New Jersey Legislature's enactment of Piblic Law No. 2003--which would prohibit any discharge of treated groundwater to the local publicly owned treatment works from the site--as a basis for failing to implement the selected remedy fails because the law itself is preempted by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. In addition, the state has no reasonable basis for refusing to comply with its obligations under the decree. Thus, it must honor its obligations under the decree, including interposing no further unreasonable interference with the selected remedy.

[Prior decisions in this litigation are published at 23 ELR 20335, 23 ELR 21420, and 26 ELR 21346.]