[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Closter 12-22-1993 as Ord. No. 1993:661. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any intentional or unintentional action or omission resulting in the releasing, spilling, leaking, dumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of a hazardous substance into the air or waters or onto the lands of the state or into the air or waters outside the jurisdiction of the state when damage may result to the lands, waters, air or natural resources within the jurisdiction of the state.
- EXPENDABLE ITEMS
- Any items used to extinguish any fire or stop or contain any discharge involving any hazardous substance which cannot be reused or cannot be replenished without cost after that particular fire or discharge. These include, but are not restricted to, fire-fighting foam, chemical extinguishing agents, absorbent material, sand recovery drums and specialized protective equipment, including but not limited to acid suits, acid gloves, goggles and protective clothing.
- HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE
- Any substance defined as such pursuant to the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, P.L. 1976, c. 141 (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11b).
- Any motorized equipment, registered or unregistered, including but not limited to passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, tractor-trailers, construction equipment and farm machinery.
- Any container, drum, box, cylinder or tank used to hold or contain or carry or store any hazardous substance.
- VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION
- Any volunteer fire, ambulance, first aid, emergency or rescue company or squad.
This chapter provides for the reimbursement for or the replacement of the specialized and sometimes nonreusable equipment required by state and federal regulations to be made available in the borough in case of fire or discharge involving any hazardous substance.
This chapter provides for the reimbursement for or the replacement of any and all equipment utilized by the Borough of Closter, without regard to ownership, for the purpose of mitigating, controlling or containing any incident in which a hazardous substance is involved in a fire or discharge or where the potential thereof exists or for the prevention of the same.
This chapter also provides for the reimbursement for the expenses incurred by the Borough of Closter for the wages (regular or overtime) paid to its employees, agents, servants or any entity that provides technical assistance (i.e., recovery company or towing company) as a result of an incident involving a hazardous substance, fire or discharge of a hazardous substance and for the costs of medical and hospital treatment for injuries incurred by agents, servants and employees of the Borough of Closter.
This chapter entitles the Borough of Closter to reimbursement for any expendable item used by the borough or any of its agencies in extinguishing any fire or stopping, controlling, containing and mitigating any discharge of a hazardous substance.
Any person who has discharged a hazardous substance or is in any way responsible for the discharge of a hazardous substance shall be strictly liable, jointly and severally, without regard to fault, to the Borough of Closter or a volunteer organization for all costs associated with the replacement of damaged or lost equipment, expendable items and vessels and all costs associated with the investigation, cleanup, abatement and removal of the hazardous substance and shall be liable for the wages (regular and overtime) paid and the costs of medical and hospital treatment for injuries incurred by any agent, servant or employee of the Borough of Closter or any member of a volunteer organization.
Any person causing any hazardous substance to be discharged must provide reimbursement for services rendered by any recovery company, towing company or any other technical assistance called for by the Borough of Closter to handle such incident. In the event of a vehicle having been responsible for an incident, such vehicle shall be impounded until such time as it has been deemed safe to proceed by the incident commander in conjunction and cooperation with the Bergen County Hazardous Materials Unit and until such time as arrangements have been made to reimburse all parties entitled to reimbursement under the terms of this chapter for their expenditures.
A volunteer organization of the Borough of Closter responding to the emergency caused by the discharge of a hazardous substance shall keep a detailed record of the costs attributable thereto and certify that record to the governing body within which the discharge occurred.
A volunteer organization of the Borough of Closter responding to the discharge of a hazardous substance may request the Borough Attorney to bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for recovery of costs permitted pursuant to this chapter against the persons responsible for causing or allowing the unauthorized discharge. Upon receiving such a request, the Borough Attorney shall submit a written, itemized claim for the total certified costs incurred by each volunteer organization to the responsible persons with a written demand that those costs be paid not less than thirty days (30) before bringing a civil action for recovery of those costs.
A volunteer organization responding to the emergency caused by the discharge of a hazardous substance may, in its discretion, settle any claim for costs permitted pursuant to this chapter in such amount as may appear appropriate and equitable under all of the circumstances.
Any recovery of costs shall be credited to the appropriate funds of each volunteer organization from which moneys were expended in responding to the emergency caused by the discharge of a hazardous substance.
The person or entity responsible for any discharge of a hazardous substance who or which fails to reimburse the borough within the time required shall be subject to a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.) per day or to imprisonment for a period of not more than six (6) months, or both.