New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has vetoed legislation that would have made oil companies and their staff not liable for damages resulting from spills during the delivery of home heating oil.
New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel says it was a bad bill that would have put the environment and homeowners at risk.
“When you make sure that polluters are held accountable there’s less likely to be a spill. We also felt there was an undue burden to homeowners because if they don’t clean up the spill, then the homeowner or the homeowner’s insurance would have to pay. And that would either cost the homeowners more money or their insurance companies which would mean higher premiums.”
Tittel says those spills are a safety and health issue.
“One quart of oil pollutes a million gallons of water. And many of the homes in New Jersey that are on oil are in rural areas with wells. So any spill or accident could have real devastating impacts on people’s water supply.”
Governor Murphy says the legislation would have been a serious departure from the way the state’s Spill Compensation and Control Act has assigned liability for hazardous spills and cleanup for more than 40 years.