Several foreign-based companies have agreed to pay $130 million to settle charges that they polluted a 17-mile portion of the lower Passaic River with toxic chemicals, New Jersey officials said. The cost to the companies could rise by $400 million depending on the scope of the Superfund site cleanup, officials said. Once the court approves the settlement, the state plans to proceed with its long-running civil lawsuit against Occidental Chemical, which inherited responsibility for most of the pollution through a series of business transactions.

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