Court: Exxon Mobil Must Pay for NJ's Recreational Losses

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NEWARK, N.J. -- Exxon Mobil is dealt a legal setback by a New Jersey appeals court.

The court says the Irving, Texas-based oil company must compensate New Jersey for lost recreational opportunities stemming from contamination at waterfront refineries.

Exxon Mobil has been implementing a cleanup since 1991. But state environmental regulators say the company should also pay for the loss of natural resource uses due to pollution at its Linden and Bayonne refineries. Those uses including fishing and bird-watching.

The appeals court says the case is the first time New Jersey courts have considered damages for the loss of use of natural resources because of pollution under New Jersey's Spill Compensation and Control Act.