Ciba-Geigy Corp. will pay $20 million to thousands of residents of the Oak Ridge neighborhood in Toms River, N.J., who allege that the company’s chemical plant released contaminants into the soil that decreased the value of homes in the area. The class action toxic waste lawsuit is settled after nearly a decade of litigation.
Ciba-Geigy Corp. (now called Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp.) produced industrial dye and resin at the Toms River plant from 1952 to 1996. In 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency added the plant to the list of federal Superfund sites after an investigation found high levels of carcinogenic chemicals on the 1,350-acre property (which is larger than the city of Hoboken, N.J.). Ten years later, two Ciba executives pleaded guilty to illegally dumping pollutants into landfills on the company’s property.