New Jersey environmental officials have been told that they cannot press ahead with a lawsuit to try and recover eight hundred million dollars worth of fines from WR Grace. The decision to dismiss the lawsuit was made by a bankruptcy judge, who has ordered the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to drop the case.

The lawsuit was filed in 2005 in a bid to try and collect the eight hundred million dollars that the company had been fined for allegedly lying about asbestos contamination with the state. The firm was accused of lying about asbestos contamination at a plant in Hamilton , New Jersey .

Grace processed vermiculite, which was found to contain deadly asbestos, at the site for over forty years. The plant closed in 1994, and a report was submitted by the firm to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Health, claiming that the vermiculite did not contain harmful levels of asbestos.

This resulted in the area not being tested for asbestos contamination on the basis of the information in the report. However, environmental authorities realised in 2000 that contamination was present.

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