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Lawmakers, Linden Residents Vow To Fight Exxon Settlement

LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Lawmakers and residents of one of the areas contaminated by Exxon Mobil refineries are vowing to fight a recent settlement reached by the company and the state.

State Sen. Ray Lesniak, other lawmakers and residents of Linden stood in a park across a highway from the refineries on Friday to slam the $225 million settlement announced last week by Gov. Chris Christie's administration.

"It's not a fair deal," one resident said. "It's an insult to our community."

"More than anything else, I feel slapped in the face," another resident said. "Where is the benefit for us?"

"My grandchildren will never be able to enjoy and appreciate the waterways that have been damaged in this town," said Mayor Derek Armstead.

Lawmakers, Linden Residents Vow To Fight Exxon Settlement

New Jersey had initially sought nearly $9 billion from Exxon in the 10-year-old lawsuit, and was awaiting a judge's ruling when the settlement was reached.

That angered Lesniak and other lawmakers who say the state settled for too little.

"They have an obligation and a responsibility to pay for it," he said.

One Linden resident says she and others still don't know what level of contamination might be in the groundwater below their homes and parks.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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