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State reaches proposed $190M settlement for Passaic River cleanup

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TRENTON, New Jersey — Officials have reached a proposed $190 million settlement with the last remaining defendant stemming from lawsuits filed over pollution in the Passaic River.

The deal with Occidental Chemical is subject to public comment and review by a judge.

The state filed suit more than eight years ago against Occidental Chemical and other companies associated with the former Diamond Shamrock site in Newark. Diamond Shamrock manufactured pesticides and herbicides along the river from the 1940s through the 1960s, including the defoliant Agent Orange that was used during the Vietnam War.

The state says the river's sediment contains dioxin, PCBs and mercury along a 17-mile stretch that is one of the nation's largest Superfund sites.

The cleanup of the lower eight miles is expected to cost more than $1.7 billion.

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