Permit. No person or entity shall release any genetically engineered microorganisms into the outdoor environment within the City of Estell Manor, Atlantic County, New Jersey, as part of any field tests, experiment or research project, or for any other reason, without first having obtained a permit issued by the governing body, after public hearing.
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MICROORGANISM
- A living microorganism, including but not limited to bacteria and viruses, whose genes have been artificially altered for scientific or commercial purposes.
- OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT
- Any area outside of the confines of a laboratory or other close and secured building or structure, including but not limited to forests, fields, streams, rivers, lakes or other bodies of water and the atmosphere.
- The location on which a person proposes to release a genetically engineered microorganism.
No permit shall be issued by the governing body, nor shall any permit remain in effect, except upon compliance with the following regulations:
Notice to Governing Body. Any person or entity which proposes to release genetically engineered microorganisms into the outdoor environment shall not later than six months prior to the date of this proposed release notify the governing body of the proposed released date by certified mail. This notice shall be accompanied by the following information:
The location of the tract on which the site is to be located as identified by Municipal Tax Map by lot and block;
A plan for environmental protection, including a method for containment and disposal of the genetically engineered microorganisms;
A plan for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of the public, including clean up and containment provisions, in case of an accident or unanticipated consequence of the release of a genetically engineered microorganism;
A risk assessment which shall include:
Information on the projected survivability of the genetically engineered microorganism in the environment in a human host, and its ability to reproduce in the outdoor environment;
An analysis of the likelihood that the genetically engineered microorganism will be dispersed or transported to a new or unintended site;
A determination as to whether or not the release of the genetically engineered microorganism will pose any threat to the public health, safety or welfare, or will have any deleterious environmental effect.
A sworn statement that the owner has in force, and will maintain until the completion of the restoration, to the satisfaction of the governing body, of any site in the Township of Green, liability insurance coverage in an amount not less than $5,000,000 for bodily injury and $1,000,000 for property damage, to pay claims arising out of the release of genetically engineered microorganisms;
A sworn statement that all requirements of the federal and state governments over any activity related to the release of genetically engineered microorganisms have been fulfilled.
Resolution by Council. Any permit issued pursuant to this chapter and regulations adopted herein shall be issued only upon the adoption of a separate resolution by the City Council that the authorized activities will not result in any threat to the public's health, safety and welfare, and any adverse consequences to the environment.
Fee. Each application for the permit required hereunder, or any renewal thereof, shall be accompanied by a fee of $1,000, established by the governing body which shall reflect the cost of reviewing and processing this application, and the monitoring of permitted activities.
Public Notice and Hearing. Prior to the approval of any permit, the governing body shall provide notice of the permit application to the public. The public shall be afforded any opportunity to review the permit application. Notice of the public hearing pursuant to the foregoing shall be given to the owners of all real property as shown on the current tax duplicates located in the state and within 200 feet in all directions of the site. Notice shall be given by the person proposing to release the genetically engineered microorganisms, who shall mail a copy of the public hearing notice by certified mail to the property owner at his address as shown on the current tax duplicate.
Surety Bond. As a further precondition to the issuance of a permit hereunder, the applicant shall execute and file with the governing body a surety bond guaranteeing compliance with all provisions of this chapter, and all provisions and conditions of the permit. Such bond shall be in an amount established by resolution of the City Council.
Authority to Suspend Activities. The City Council may order the immediate suspension of any activities related to the release of genetically engineered microorganisms if it finds that the activity poses an imminent danger to public health, safety or welfare or results in or is likely to result in substantial damage to the environment. Within five calendar days after the issuance of the order, the City Council shall provide the permittee an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence that the allegedly dangerous condition or activity is not likely to result in substantial damage to the environment and does not present an imminent danger to public health, safety or welfare. After the hearing the City Council shall make a final determination.
Forfeit of Bond. If the City Council finds that the holdover permit issued hereunder has violated a provision or a condition of the permit, the City Council may, by separate resolution, declare said surety bond forfeited.
Postponement of Release. If the City Council requires more information from the person during this six-month application period, the proposed release date may be postponed by order of the Council.
Any person or entity who violates this chapter shall be subject to one or more of the following penalties: imprisonment for a term of up to 90 days; a fine of up to $1,000; or a period of community service of up to 90 days. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute a separate offense under this chapter.