The Bayway refinery, the site of extensive environmental damage, and the subject of a legal battle between Exxon and the state, in Linden, N.J., Feb. 27, 2015. A long-fought legal battle to recover $8.9 billion in damages from Exxon Mobil for the contamination and loss of use of more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes, meadows and waters in New Jersey has been quietly settled by the state for around $250 million. (Angel Franco/The New York Times)

N.J. pollution settlement lets Exxon off easy

The lawsuits, filed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 2004, had been litigated by the administrations of four governors, finally advancing to...