Christie's proposed Exxon Mobil contamination deal criticized by lawmakers, environmentalists

Energy Associated Press

Democratic lawmakers and environmentalists are criticizing a proposed legal settlement between Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration and Exxon Mobil over oil and chemical contamination.

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The state had sought $9 billion in damages. But a person familiar with the matter says the settlement is for about $250 million. The person wasn't authorized to speak before details were released publicly and spoke Wednesday to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is planning a public hearing. Senate President Steve Sweeney and Sen. Ray Lesniak have threatened a lawsuit.

A judge found Exxon liable in 2008 for contamination in Bayonne and Linden. But there's been no ruling on damages.

Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. had said damages should be capped at $3 million.

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Associated Press writer Jonathan Fahey in New York contributed to this story.