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NL Indus., Inc. v. State

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20050
Nos. A-44, (N.J., 03/27/2017)

The New Jersey Supreme Court held that the state hazardous waste spill law, which waives state immunity for hazardous waste suits, does not apply to spills that predate the law. In 1968, a development corporation built a seawall on state-owned land. In 2007, the state environmental department detected contamination along the seawall. In 2014, EPA demanded that an industrial company that supplied slag used to construct the wall must remediate the property. The industrial company sought contribution from the state as an "owner" of some of the land on which the wall was built, based on a 1976 law that waived state immunity in cases involving a spill of hazardous material. The Court held that there was no evidence in the legislative history of the intent to retroactively strip the state of sovereign immunity. The case was remanded to the trial court.