[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Washington 10-18-2005 by Ord. No. 16-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter authorizes certain employees of the Borough of Washington to file claims for recovery of certain emergency service costs incurred by the Washington Borough Fire Department, Washington Borough Police Department, Washington Borough Civil Defense Division, and any other department, office or agency of the Borough of Washington called to respond beyond the customary and usual costs for services provided by these entities in connection with hazardous material incidents.
The following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes both direct and indirect costs.
- DIRECT COSTS
- Includes replacement costs for supplies and materials used and expended, the actual hourly cost for labor for full- and part-time employees of the Borough and the labor value established at the time of the incident for volunteers, and the hourly value for equipment and vehicle usage.
- EXPENDABLE ITEMS
- Any items used to extinguish or control any fire or stop or contain any release involving a hazardous material which becomes damaged, cannot be reused or replaced, without cost, after that particular fire or release. These items include, but are not limited to, tools, equipment, fire-fighting foam, chemical extinguishing agents, absorbent materials, recovery drums and specialized recovery equipment, responders' personal protective equipment and breathing apparatus.
- FIRE APPARATUS
- Vehicle or vehicles used at the scene during the incident.
- HAZARDOUS MATERIAL
- Any material, solid, liquid or gas, listed and/or regulated as a hazardous material by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), to include, but not be limited to, any substance or material judged to be a danger to the health and safety of the general public by the emergency response personnel at the scene of an incident.
- INDIRECT COSTS
- Includes costs for administration, employee benefits, and overhead costs such as utilities and building use fees established at the time of the incident.
- MANPOWER COSTS
- Manpower costs will be the costs incurred for manpower expended as a result of a hazardous materials incident occurring in the Borough, including but not limited to police personnel, Volunteer Fire Department personnel, volunteer EMS personnel and Roads Department personnel. Reimbursement shall be at such rates as the individual who is assigned such duty is normally paid, comparable value of volunteers as established by standard values, including overtime, if necessary, at which rates will be calculated at the time of the incident.
- Leak, spill, dumping, purging or escape, whether accidental or negligent, of hazardous materials.
- Any motorized equipment, registered or unregistered, including but not limited to passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, boats, tractor-trailers, construction equipment, farm machinery and gardening equipment.
- Any container, drum, box, cylinder or tank used to hold or contain or carry or store any hazardous material.
The governing body of the Borough of Washington authorizes the Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator and, in his or her absence, the Deputy Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator, under the supervision of the Borough Manager, to recover any and all direct and indirect costs beyond the customary and usual costs for emergency services provided by the Washington Borough Fire Department, Washington Borough Police Department, Washington Borough Office of Emergency Management and any other department, office or agency of the Borough of Washington called to respond in an emergency services capacity both within and outside the geographic limits of the Borough of Washington.
The governing body of the Borough of Washington authorizes the Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator and, in his or her absence, the Deputy Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator, under the supervision of the Borough Manager, to recover any and all direct and indirect costs resulting from damage to real or personal property or injuries to person or persons beyond the customary and usual costs for emergency services provided by the Washington Borough Fire Department, Washington Borough Police Department, Washington Borough Office of Emergency Management and any other department, office or agency of the Borough of Washington called to respond in an emergency services capacity both within and outside the geographic limits of the Borough of Washington.
Costs may be charged and invoiced to any person, partnership, corporation, association, firm or other legal entity for whom or for whose property such services were rendered and/or materials provided, whether through accident, negligence or otherwise.
The authority to recover costs under this chapter shall not include emergency service responses normally and usually provided by the Fire Department in actual fire suppression.
All cleanup and removal costs and all direct and indirect damages actually incurred in connection with a hazardous substance discharge and allowed by the Spill Compensation and Control Act (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq.) and the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C. 7:1J et seq.) shall be identified to the extent practical and submitted for reimbursement as provided in this chapter. The Claim Administrator shall comply with New Jersey Administrative Code Chapter 1J, Subchapter 6, procedures for the filing of claims under the Spill Compensation and Control Act, in the event recovery of costs is sought from this source.
The Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator shall be designated the Claim Administrator and shall be responsible for collecting the required documentation in order to file a claim for reimbursement of costs and shall be responsible for filing any and all claims for reimbursement of costs. The Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator may request the assistance of the Borough Manager and the Borough Treasurer, as well as the heads of all of the responding entities to a hazardous substance discharge, in completing any applications, affidavits, certification or forms required in order to file a claim for reimbursement of costs. In the event the Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator is unable to perform the duties of Claim Administrator, the Deputy Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator shall be responsible to undertake the responsibilities required by this chapter.
The Claim Administrator shall exercise his or her best efforts to obtain reimbursement of costs from any source from which reimbursement of cost is reasonably likely to be available, including, without limitation, insurance policies, court awards, contractual rights, grants or other financial assistance and other remedies provided under statutory or common law, including the Spill Compensation and Control Act (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq.).
In the event of failure to make payment within 30 days of notice of final demand by the Claim Administrator, the governing body of the Borough of Washington may elect to bring action in a court of competent jurisdiction for the collection of any amount due hereunder plus attorneys' fees or for any other relief that may be appropriate.
The Borough Manager is authorized to seek approval of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services, for a dedication by rider to the annual municipal budget for revenue obtained as a result of claim filing in accordance with this chapter and the appropriation of said revenue for the purposes to which said revenue was obtained. In the event a dedication by rider in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:4-39 is not approved, any revenues recovered shall be deposited into the Borough's general fund.