EXXON OVER FINESNEWARK, N.J. - The federal government is suing Exxon Corp. for refusing to pay fines as low as $50 for oil spills that date back to 1985, the U.S. Attorney said.

The oil company hasn't paid a $50 fine for a 40-gallon asphalt leak into the Arthur Kill from 1985, U.S. Attorney Samuel Alito Jr. said Thursday.

Exxon also polluted the Kill Van Kull and received a $500 fine for a 15- gallon slop oil spill, a $300 fine for a half-gallon leak of No. 2 oil in 1986, and a $500 fine for a 1-gallon diesel oil spill in 1987, according to the complaint filed here in U.S. District Court.

Exxon has refused to pay the fines because it says there was no harm done to the environment.

Exxon spokesman Al Kapkowski said he could not comment on the matter

because the company had not yet received the complaint.