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Contamination and Eminent Domain: Isn't This Blight?

According to New Jersey State policy, when local or county government exercise eminent domain powers for a valid public purpose, that process should be transparent, and used only as a last resort. However, there is another important policy being pushed to the back burner, and that is a policy fostering environmental public health and safety. There are hundreds of properties in New Jersey—some vacant, some occupied—that could be severely contaminated, yet are not being remediated. Of course, there are practical reasons for that, ranging from an absence of available remediation funds, fear of environmental liability, ignorance regarding the full extent of contamination, and in some instances, policies protecting property owner rights in eminent domain matters that are so strict they are competing with the public's right to a clean environment. In New Jersey, owners have the legal responsibility to address contamination at their properties, including is some instances, contamination that…Log In to Read Full Article

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