Interfaith Community Organization v. Honeywell International, Inc.

Interfaith Community Organization v. Honeywell International, Inc., 263 F.Supp.2d 796 (D.N.J. 2003), affirmed, 399 F.3d 248 (3d Cir. 2005), certiorari denied, 125 S.Ct. 2951 (2005): The firm represents the Interfaith Community Organization, the Hackensack Riverkeeper, and several individual plaintiffs in a citizen suit brought under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act(RCRA) that is resulting in the excavation and removal of 1.5 million tons of toxic hexavalent chromium residue from a 34-acre site in Jersey City, NJ and a clean-up of the deep ground water and sediments in the Hackensack River. The District Court for the District of New Jersey ordered the excavation after finding, among other things, that (1) the plaintiffs, some of whom live within a mile of the site, had standing to bring suit; (2) the site represents an “imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment” under RCRA; and (3) the necessary permanent remedy for those endangerments is total excavation of the waste.

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s injunction, noting that the citizen-plaintiffs had met a higher than necessary standard in proving Honeywell’s liability and that “the time for a clean-up has come.” The firm continues to represent the plaintiffs in proceedings before Special Master Robert G. Torricelli, appointed to oversee the implementation of the injunction. The excavation was completed in 2009. Other remedial efforts for river sediments and groundwater continue.

Terris, Pravlik & Millian, LLP is a public interest law firm that litigates cases for clients with matters involving Environmental Law, Civil Rights Law, and Employment Law.

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