[HISTORY: Adopted by the 1992 Town Meeting of the Town of Salem (Ch. 202 of the 1995 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is enacted under the authority of RSA 31:39, RSA 41:11 and RSA 154.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the control and containment of hazardous materials after accident or discharge. The purpose of this chapter is not to impose upon the Town, or any of its officers and agents, any obligation to secure or remove any hazardous material from the Town once safe containment of the material is made, and nothing in this chapter is intended to relieve any owner or person in possession of hazardous material of any obligation imposed by state or federal law, and specifically nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to permit the possession, storage, or use of hazardous materials, except in conformance with all state, federal or local laws.
This chapter shall apply to all incidents involving hazardous waste or hazardous materials within the boundaries of the Town of Salem and to all persons who may possess such materials found within the Town except as prevailing state or federal laws or regulations may take precedence and control over any such incident or person. (See RSA 146-A, RSA 147, and RSA 265:115 to 265:118 for examples of such prevailing state law at the time this chapter is adopted.)
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
- The management, control, containment, recovery, removal or neutralization of any released hazardous material for the purpose of promoting or protecting public health or safety.
- HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
- Those substances or materials in such quantity and form which may pose an unreasonable risk to health and safety or property, which may include, but are not limited to, explosives, radioactive materials, etiologic agents, flammable liquids and solids, combustible liquids or solids, poisons, oxidizing or corrosive materials, and compressed gases which are listed by the Materials Transportation Bureau of the United States Department of Transportation in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and any amendment thereto.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, trust, or other legal entity.
- RESPONSIBLE PARTY
- Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, trust or other entity partially or solely responsible for the release of any hazardous material within the Town.
- Any person who manufactures or transports or owns, uses, handles, stores, or has the legal authority to control hazardous materials, specifically including his or its officers, directors, employees, and agents.
Any person who causes or has knowledge of any discharge or release of hazardous materials from their safe container, in any manner which poses an actual or potential threat to people, animals, wildlife, vegetation, property, or the environment, shall immediately report the incident to the Salem Fire Department.
The user or transporter of a hazardous material which is intentionally or accidentally discharged or released within the Town shall, in addition to reporting the accident as required by § 279-5, take immediate action to cause the discharge or release to be cleaned up in an environmentally safe and scientifically sound manner and to restore the site and the surrounding environment.
The intentional discharge or release of a hazardous material within the Town of Salem is strictly prohibited.
Upon the completion of any cleanup in which Town employees participated, all costs of the cleanup shall be itemized by each Town department involved, including the Fire Department. Such costs shall include, but are not limited to, the cost of cleaning, repair, restoration or replacement of any Town material or equipment used in the cleanup, the costs of any illness or injury sustained by any employee who participated in the cleanup and the costs of all contracted services utilized in the cleanup.
Upon receipt of these itemizations (including its own), but in no event later than 60 days from the date of the release, the Fire Department shall bill the full cost of the cleanup to the responsible party or parties. The bill shall include a description of costs incurred. Bills for less than the full amount of these costs shall be allowed, provided that the responsible party is advised of the reason therefor and the approximate date by which it can expect to receive a complete bill.
Each responsible party shall be jointly and severally liable to the Town for costs of the cleanup for which it is responsible. Such costs may be collected by any lawful means, including but not limited to appropriate court proceedings. All funds received from responsible parties shall be forwarded to the Finance Director for deposit in the Town treasury.
Any and all costs recovered from a responsible party shall be separate from and in addition to any penalty that may be assessed for any violation of any provision of this chapter.
Any person who fails to report, as required by § 279-5, shall be assessed a penalty. Each twenty-four-hour period that the incident is not reported shall constitute a separate violation.
Any person who intentionally discharges or releases or causes another to discharge or release any hazardous materials from their safe container, in any manner which poses an actual or potential threat to people, animals, wildlife, vegetation, property, or the environment, shall be assessed a penalty.
Any person who fails to take the action required by § 279-6 shall be assessed a penalty. Each twenty-four-hour period that a person fails to take action to cause the discharge or release of a hazardous material to be cleaned up shall constitute a separate violation.
Fines for violation of the provisions of this chapter, as adopted by the Board of Selectmen, are on file with the Town Manager and on the Town of Salem website. Fines shall not exceed the maximum penalty established pursuant to RSA 31:39, III.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit any other remedy the Town may have to collect from a responsible party the cost of control and containment of hazardous materials incidents.
All costs and penalties collected under this chapter shall be placed in the general fund.
The Fire Chief of the Town of Salem or his designated representative(s) shall take, and be in control of, any actions necessary to mitigate a hazardous materials incident within the Town of Salem, except where state or federal agencies have jurisdiction by law.
The Fire Chief of the Town of Salem shall be responsible for enforcing this chapter.