[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Clark by Ord. No. 94-07 (Ch. XXVI of the 2002 Revised General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CLARK TOWNSHIP DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION AND HEALTH
- The employees, agents, officers and/or officials of the Township of Clark Department of Administration and Health.
- COLLECTION AGENCY
- The Clark Township Department of Administration and Health or its designated agent.
- Any intentional or unintentional action or omission resulting in the releasing, spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of hazardous substances or solid waste into the air, onto the ground, or into any body of water or water resource, including any groundwater or stormwater system within the jurisdiction of the Township of Clark or into waters or stormwater systems outside of the Township when damage may result to the lands, waters or natural resources of the Township.
- EXPENDABLE ITEMS
- Any items used to extinguish or prevent any hazardous material or fire or stop or contain any leak, release or discharge involving any hazardous substance or solid waste which cannot be reused or cannot be replenished without cost after that particular incident. These expendable items include, but are not limited to, fire-fighting foam, chemical extinguishing agents, sampling equipment or supplies, absorbent materials, sand, recovery drums, and any protective equipment and clothing, to include, but not be restricted to, chemical protective suits, chemical protective gloves, goggles, and any other items owned or controlled by the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health or its employees, agents, officers, officials or participating Township agencies.
- HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE
- Any material, solid, liquid or gas listed as such under the National Fire Protection Association Guide of Hazardous Materials, the Department of Transportation Guide Book, the list of hazardous substances adopted by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendment of 1972, as amended by the Clean Water Act of 1977 (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, any hazardous waste as defined or listed under the New Jersey Hazardous Waste Regulations at N.J.A.C. 7:26G-1.1 et seq., and any hospital or medical waste, including, but not limited to, syringes, bandages and discarded pharmaceutical products.
- OWNER or OPERATOR
- With respect to any facility or vehicle, any person owning or operating such facility or vehicle, whether by lease, contract or any other form of agreement; with respect to abandoned facilities or vehicles, the person who owned or operated the facility or vehicle immediately prior to such abandonment; the owner or operator at the time of the discharge.
- Any entity or natural person, and shall include, without limitation, any of the following: public or private corporations, companies, associations, societies, firms, partnerships, joint-stock companies, individuals, interstate subdivisions or agents, the State of New Jersey and any of its political subdivisions or agents.
- Any container, drum, box, cylinder, tank, or other item used to hold, contain, carry or store any hazardous substances or solid waste, whether or not the item was manufactured for the containment of a hazardous substance.
- RESPONSIBLE PARTY
- A person who is in any way responsible for a discharge, and shall include each owner and operator and any other person obligated by law to clean up and remove contaminants, hazardous substances or solid waste.
- A. Any garbage, refuse, sludge or any other waste material, except it shall not include solid animal and vegetable wastes collected by swine producers, licensed by the State Department of Agriculture, who collect, prepare and feed such wastes to swine on their own farms. "Any other waste material" is any solid, liquid, semisolid or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining or agricultural operations, or from community activities, which is discarded or is being accumulated, stored or physically, chemically or biologically treated prior to being discarded or has served its original intended use and sometimes is discarded or is a manufacturing or mining by-product and sometimes is discarded.
- B. A material is discarded if it is abandoned by being disposed of or burned or incinerated or physically, chemically, or biologically treated (other than burned or incinerated) in lieu of or prior to being disposed of.
- C. A material is disposed of for purposes of this chapter if it is discharged, deposited, injected, dumped, spilled, leaked or placed into or on any land or water so that such material or any constituent thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into groundwaters or surface waters.
- D. A "manufacturing or mining by-product" shall mean a material that is not one of the primary products of a particular manufacturing or mining operation, is a secondary and incidental product of the particular operation and would not be solely and separately manufactured or mined by the particular manufacturing or mining product which results from one of the steps in a manufacturing or mining process and is typically processed through the next step of the process within a short time.
- Any motorized equipment, registered or unregistered, including, but not limited to, a passenger car, motorcycle, truck, tractor-trailer, construction equipment, farm machinery, watercraft, aircraft and trains.
This chapter shall provide for the reimbursement for, or the replacement of, any and all equipment utilized by or at the direction of the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health and for costs expended, without regard to ownership, for the purpose of investigating, analyzing, mitigating, controlling, or containing any incident in which a hazardous substance or solid waste is involved in a fire, discharge, release or spill, or where the potential thereof exists, or for the prevention of same.
This chapter shall also provide for the reimbursement for the expenses incurred by the Township of Clark, its agents and employees and for the wages (regular or overtime) paid to its employees, agents, officials, participating Township agencies, or servants as a result of incidents involving a hazardous substance or solid waste, fire, discharge, release, or spill of hazardous substance or solid waste and for the costs of medical and hospital treatment for injuries incurred by agents, servants and employees of the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health and participating Township agencies.
This chapter shall mandate reimbursement to the Township of Clark for any equipment or expendable items used by or at the direction of the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health or participating Township agencies in extinguishing any hazardous substance or solid waste fire or stopping or containing or controlling or mitigating any discharge, release or leak of any hazardous substance or solid waste.
The discharge of hazardous substances or solid waste is prohibited. This chapter shall not apply to the discharge of hazardous substances or solid waste pursuant to and in compliance with the conditions of a local, county, state or federal permit.
Whenever any hazardous substance or solid waste is discharged, the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health may, in its discretion, act to remove or arrange for the removal of the discharge.
Any person who has discharged a hazardous substance or solid waste or in any way is responsible for any discharge of a hazardous substance or solid waste which has been or shall be removed by the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health or participating Township agencies shall be strictly liable, jointly and severally, without regard to fault, for any and all expenses incurred in conducting the investigation, cleanup and removal and disposal 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, participating Township agencies, servants and employees of the Township of Clark.
Any person who is any way responsible for a discharge of a hazardous substance or solid waste which occurs after the effective date of this chapter shall immediately notify the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:1E et seq.
Compliance with the notification requirements set forth in this chapter shall in no way alter, modify, supersede or replace the requirements of or release any person from compliance with the notification and reporting requirements set forth at N.J.S.A. 13:1K-15 et seq.
Reimbursement to the Township of Clark as required by this chapter shall be made by:
The owner or operator of the vehicle responsible for the discharge of a hazardous substance fire or discharge of a hazardous substance or solid waste;
The owner/operator, person, or responsible party for the receptacle containing the hazardous substance or solid waste involved in such a fire or discharge on public or private property, whether stationary or in transit and whether accidental or through negligence;
The owner/operator, person, or responsible party for any property from which any discharge of a hazardous substance or solid waste emanates, whether accidental or through negligence;
The person responsible for the hazardous material fire or discharge or release of a hazardous substance or solid waste on public or private property, whether accidental or through negligence.
Any person, owner, operator or responsible party causing any hazardous substance fire, discharge or release involving a hazardous substance or solid waste must provide reimbursement for services rendered by any recovery company, towing company or any other technical assistance called for by the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health or its agents to handle such incident. In the event of a vehicle having been responsible for any incident, such vehicle may be impounded until such a time as it has been deemed safe to proceed by the incident commander and until such time as arrangements have been made to reimburse the Township of Clark, participating Township agencies, and the towing company for their expenditures under the terms of this chapter.
Whenever the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health or its designated agent seeks to recover costs pursuant to the above, the Department of Administration and Health shall deliver to the responsible party, person, owner or operator a demand letter, by certified mail or personal service, which shall contain:
The date and time of the discharge;
The basis for liability;
A detailed narrative description of the costs incurred by the Township and/or its agents in responding to, containment of, cleanup of and investigation of the discharge;
An explanation of the procedures to be followed to pay the costs demanded or to appeal the demand.
Payment shall be remitted to the Township within 45 days of receipt of the demand letter.
The person, owner, operator or responsible party who is responsible for any hazardous substance fire or discharge of hazardous substance or solid waste shall reimburse the Township, the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health and its participating agencies the full price of expendable items and costs to extinguish such fire or to stop or investigate and contain such discharge or to control such discharge within 45 days after receipt of the aforementioned demand letter. The Township reserves the right to employ the services of a collection agency or an attorney to ensure reimbursement to the Township and its participating agencies, the costs of which shall be borne by the person, owner, operator, or responsible party.
Any person, owner, operator or responsible party who violates any provision of or order promulgated under this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Article III, for each violation. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Each day from the 46th day following the receipt of the demand letter referred to in § 185-8 that any portion of the amount demanded within the letter remains unpaid shall constitute a separate violation under this chapter.
In addition to any other remedies provided by this chapter, the Clark Municipal Court shall have jurisdiction over proceedings to enforce this chapter and collect any penalty imposed because of a violation of any of its provision. The proceedings shall be summary and in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq., the Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999. Process shall be at the suit of the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health and shall be either in the nature of a summons or warrant.
Authorized representatives of the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health shall have the right to enter and inspect any premises, facility, site, vehicle, receptacle or building for the purpose of ascertaining compliance or noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter.
Authorized representatives of the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health shall also have the right to examine and obtain information from any person, owner, operator or responsible party from material safety data sheets, shipping papers, bills of lading, invoices, inventories, manifests and all records and documents relating to the discharge of a hazardous substance or solid waste.
This chapter is to be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes herein described. Nothing herein is to be construed as repealing or abridging the emergency powers of any agency of government except to the extent expressly set forth herein.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Township of Clark has the right to levy penalties as set forth in § 185-9, the Township reserves for itself all rights and remedies entitled to it under statutory and common law to take whatever steps are necessary to obtain reimbursement.
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the Township from obtaining reimbursement or compensation from the responsible parties pursuant to any local, state or federal program, rule, regulation or statute.
Nothing in this chapter shall restrict the rights or prohibit the Clark Township Department of Administration and Health or its agents from enforcing any applicable codes, rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, the provisions found in the Solid Waste Management Act, N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq., and the Environmental Rights Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:35A-1 et seq.