N.J. Supreme Court Ruling is Key Victory for Brownfield Redevelopment; NJAA Participated as Amicus Curiae

The New Jersey Apartment Association, as amicus curiae, filed a brief and participated in oral argument last April in the matter of Magic Petroleum Corp. v. Exxonmobil Corp., 2011 WL 3047808 (App. Div. July 26, 2011). 

In a decision which would have hamstrung the development of multi-family units at Brownfield sites, the Appellate Division had prevented Magic Petroleum from maintaining a contribution action in state court pursuant to the Spill Compensation and Control Act ruling that (a) the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") had primary jurisdiction over the dispute, and (b) Magic Petroleum was required to obtain pre-approval from the NJDEP for its remediation plan prior to bringing any action for contribution.  

In a unanimous decision released on July 28, 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the holdings of the Appellate Division, noting that, by statute, Magic Petroleum was required to bring its contribution claim in state court and that no NJDEP pre-approval of its remediation plan was required prior to initiating that action.  The Supreme Court decision paves the way for developers of Brownfield properties to pursue responsible parties while simultaneously redeveloping sites across New Jersey.

Click here for a copy of the Court's ruling.

This update is provided by Martha N. Donovan, Esq., Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, who represented the NJAA as amicus curiae and participated in oral arguments.