Chevron to Pay $1M to New Jersey

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Chevron to Pay $1M to New Jersey

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. will pay the state of New Jersey $1 million for spilling more than 10,000 gallons of crude oil into the Arthur Kill area of ocean last year, The Associated Press reported.

The funds will be used by a nonprofit organization to re-establish oyster beds -- which have been destroyed due to overfishing and pollution -- in the area of the Arthur Kill and Raritan Bay, between Staten Island and mainland New Jersey, said New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner.

"This is an appropriate settlement," Rabner told the AP.

The area was once filled with oyster beds covering 350 square miles that supported a fishing industry, the report stated.

Since 1999, the NY/NJ Baykeeper organization has been working to establish new oyster beds in the harbor.

"Chevron is pleased that the state attorney general was receptive to a settlement that involved a major restoration project that directly benefits the region's natural resources," Chevron spokesman Stan Luckoski said.

The Feb. 13, 2006, spill occurred when oil leaked through a pipeline near Arthur Kill as a barge was offloading crude oil at the Chevron Asphalt Plant in Perth Amboy, N.J. The oil created a slick that stretched to Staten Island and caused response from the U.S. Coast Guard, state environmental and criminal justice officials, according to the AP.

"Fortunately, the environmental damage from the spill was limited due to the quick response," said Gregory A. Paw, New Jersey criminal justice division director.