[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hazlet 10-15-1991 by Ord. No. 852-91 (Ch. 195 of the 1993 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is enacted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:42-1 et seq., the Home Rule Act, which directs municipalities to act to provide for the health, welfare and safety of its citizens.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACT OF GOD
- Any act exclusively occasioned by an unanticipated, grave natural disaster without the interference of any human agency.
- COLLECTING AGENCY
- The Township of Hazlet.
- Any intentional or unintentional action or omission resulting in the releasing, spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of hazardous substances into any waters which flow within the jurisdiction of this Township or any land within the jurisdiction of this Township.
- EXPENDABLE ITEMS
- Include any items used to extinguish or prevent any hazardous material fire or to stop or contain any leak, release or spill involving any hazardous material, which cannot be reused or cannot be replenished without cost after that particular incident. These "expendable items" include but are not restricted to fire-fighting foams, chemical extinguishing agents, absorbent materials, sand, recovery drums, protective equipment and clothing, including but not limited to chemical protective suits, chemical protective gloves, goggles and any other such items owned or controlled by the Township of Hazlet.
- HAZARDOUS MATERIAL or HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE
- Any material, solid, liquid or gas listed as such under the National Fire Protection Association Guide of Hazardous Materials or the Department of Transportation Guide Book; and "environmental hazardous substance" on the environmental hazardous substance list adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to Section 4 of P.L. 1983, c. 315 (N.J.S.A. 34:5A-4); any elements and compounds, including petroleum products, which are defined as such by the Department of Environmental Protection, after public hearing, and which shall be consistent to the maximum extent possible with, and which shall include, the list of hazardous substances adopted by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, P.L. 92-500, as amended by the Clean Water Act of 1977, P.L. 95-217 (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.); the list of toxic pollutants designated by Congress or the EPA pursuant to Section 307 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; the list of hazardous substances adopted by the EPA pursuant to Section 101 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, P.L. 96-510 (42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq.); any hospital or medical waste, including but not limited to syringes, bandages and discarded pharmaceutical products; and any other such material warranting removal or cleanup in the opinion of the Hazlet Township Office of Emergency Management; provided, however, that sewage and sewage sludge shall not be considered as "hazardous substances" for the purposes of this chapter.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT
- Any county or municipality or any office, agency, division or instrumentality thereof.
- Includes public or private corporations, companies, associations, societies, firms, partnerships, joint-stock companies, individuals, the United States, the State of New Jersey and any of its political subdivisions or agents.
- PETROLEUM or PETROLEUM PRODUCTS
- Includes oil or petroleum of any kind and in any form, including but not limited to oil, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, oil sludge, oil refuse, oil mixed with other wastes, crude oils and substances or additives to be utilized in the refining or blending of crude petroleum or petroleum stock in this state.
- Includes the Township of Hazlet's employees, agents, officers, officials and supporting units as directed by the Office of Emergency Management.
- Any motorized equipment, registered or unregistered, including but not limited to passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, tractor trailers, construction equipment, farm machinery, watercraft, aircraft and trains.
- Any container, drum, box, cylinder or tank used to hold or contain or carry or store any hazardous materials, whether or not said container was manufactured for the containment of a hazardous material.
- VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION
- Any duly incorporated volunteer fire, ambulance, first aid, emergency or rescue company or squad.
This chapter provides for the reimbursement for or the replacement of any and all equipment utilized by the Township of Hazlet and for costs expended, without regard to ownership, for the purpose of mitigating, controlling or containing any incident in which a hazardous material is involved in a fire or discharge or where the potential thereof exists or for the prevention of the same.
This chapter entitles the Township of Hazlet to reimbursement for the expenses incurred for the wages (regular or overtime) paid to its employees, agents or servants as a result of an incident involving a hazardous material fire or discharge and for the costs of medical and hospital treatment for injuries incurred by agents, servants and employees of the Township of Hazlet.
This chapter also provides for a penalty for violation of this chapter for either committing a discharge or for failure to report the same.
The discharge of hazardous substances is prohibited. This section shall not apply to discharge of hazardous substances pursuant to and in compliance with the conditions of a federal or state permit.
Any person who may be subject to liability for a discharge or becomes aware of a discharge which occurred prior to or after the effective date of this chapter shall immediately notify the Township of Hazlet, Office of Emergency Management.
Whenever any hazardous substance is discharged, the Township may, in its discretion, act to remove or arrange for the removal of such discharge.
Any person who has discharged a hazardous substance or who has failed to report a discharge or who is in any way responsible for any hazardous substance which has been or shall be removed by the Township shall be strictly liable, jointly and severally, without regard to fault, for all cleanup and removal costs and shall be liable for the wages (regular and overtime) paid and the costs of medical and hospital treatment for injuries incurred by the agents, servants and employees of the Township.
An act or omission caused solely by war, sabotage or God or a combination thereof shall be the only defense which may be raised in any action arising under the provisions of this chapter.
Reimbursement to the Township of Hazlet for any expendable items used shall be made by the following parties:
The owner or operator of or person responsible for any vehicle accountable for any fire or discharge of hazardous materials.
The owner or person responsible for any vessel containing hazardous materials involved in any fire or discharge on public or private property, whether stationary or in transit, and whether accidental or through negligence.
The owner or person responsible for any property from which any discharge of hazardous material emanates, whether accidental or through negligence.
Any person responsible for any fire or discharge of hazardous materials on public or private property, whether accidental or through negligence.
Any person responsible for any fire or discharge involving a hazardous material must provide reimbursement for services rendered by any recovery company or towing company or for other technical assistance called for by the Township of Hazlet to handle such incident. In the event that a vehicle has been responsible for an incident, it shall be impounded, where possible, until such time as it has been deemed safe to proceed by the responsible official in conjunction and in cooperation with the Township of Hazlet, and until such time as arrangements have been made to reimburse the Township and the towing company for their expenditures under the terms of this chapter.
The person, owner or operator responsible for any fire or discharge of hazardous materials shall reimburse the Township of Hazlet for the full price of all necessary expendable items, plus costs associated with extinguishing such a fire or costs associated with stopping, controlling or containing such a discharge, within 45 days after receipt of a bill from the Township.
The collecting agency shall utilize its best efforts to collect costs hereunder and shall reimburse its agents or the local units or volunteer organizations for amounts collected. In the event that the collecting agency is not able to collect said costs or only a portion thereof, the collecting agency shall not be responsible to its agents or the local units or volunteer organizations for the full amount of the same.
Any person, owner or operator responsible for any fire or discharge of hazardous materials who fails to reimburse the Township of Hazlet within the time set forth in this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 per day or to imprisonment for a period of not more than six months, or both. The person responsible for committing a discharge or who fails to report the discharge will be liable for the same penalties as aforesaid stated.
A local government unit or volunteer organization responding to an emergency caused by a fire or discharge of hazardous materials in the Township of Hazlet shall keep a detailed record of the costs attributable thereto and shall certify that record to the governing body of the Township. Any reimbursements collected by the Township for hazardous material incidents shall be credited to the appropriate funds of each local government unit or volunteer organization from which moneys were expended in responding to the emergency.