[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Shamong 2-2-1988 by Ord. No. 1998-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established procedure for reviewing proposed releases of genetically engineered microorganisms into the outdoor environment.
As used in this chapter:
- GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MICROORGANISM
- A living microorganism, including but not limited to bacteria and viruses, whose genes have been artificially altered.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The Township Committee of the Township of Shamong.
- OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT
- Any area outside of the confines of a laboratory or other closed and secured building or structure, including but not limited to forests, fields, streams, rivers, lakes or other bodies of water and the atmosphere.
- An individual, partnership, corporation and all similar entities, as well as all political subdivisions of this state or any agencies or instrumentalities thereof.
- The location within the boundaries of the Township of Shamong on which a person proposes to release a genetically engineered microorganism.
No person shall release any genetically engineered microorganisms into the outdoor environment of the Township of Shamong, as part of any field test, experiment, or research project without first having obtained a permit issued by the governing body, after a public hearing.
A person who proposes to release genetically engineered microorganisms into the outdoor environment shall, not later than six months prior to the date of this proposed release, notify the governing body of the proposed release date by filing a notice and application with the Township Clerk by certified mail. The notice shall be accompanied by the following information:
The names and addresses of all persons holding an interest in the tract upon which the site is located;
The location of the tract on which the site is located or is to be located as identified by lot and block on the municipal tax map;
The name and address of the corporate surety and the identifying number of the bond required pursuant to § 98-9 of this chapter;
A plan for environmental protection, which shall include a method for containment and disposal of the genetically engineered microorganisms;
A plan for insuring the health, safety and welfare of the public, including cleanup and containment provisions in case of an accident or unanticipated consequence of the release of a genetically engineered microorganism;
A plan for restoration of the land surface disturbed by operations incident to the release of genetically engineered microorganisms;
A risk assessment which shall include:
Information on the projected survivability of the genetically engineered microorganism in the environment;
A determination as to the genetically engineered microorganism's ability to survive in a human host;
Information on the genetically engineered microorganism's ability to reproduce in the outdoor environment;
An analysis of the likelihood that the genetically engineered microorganism will pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare; and
A determination as to whether or not the release of the genetically engineered microorganism will have any deleterious environmental effect.
A sworn statement that the owner of the site has in force, and will maintain until the completion of the restoration, to the satisfaction of the governing body, of any site in the Township of Shamong, liability insurance coverage in an amount not less than $5,000,000 for bodily injury and $1,000,000 for property damage, to pay claims arising out of the release of genetically engineered microorganisms. A copy of the policy shall be filed with the sworn statement.
A sworn statement that all state and federal requirements governing any activity related to the release of genetically engineered microorganisms have been fulfilled and are in effect at the time the application is filed, including copies of any federal and state permits;
A description, by name or number, of the county, state, and municipal roads, streets, and highways that the applicant anticipates will be used for access to and egress from the site; and
A map, on a scale not smaller than 400 feet to the inch, prepared by a surveyor licensed in New Jersey, showing the location of the site.
A permit required by § 98-3 of this chapter shall be issued only upon the adoption of a resolution by the governing body finding that the authorized activities will not result in:
Each application for the permit required by § 98-3 of this chapter, or renewal thereof, shall be accompanied by a fee in the amount of $1,000, which reflects the cost of reviewing and processing the application and monitoring permitted activities.
A photostatic copy of the original permit shall be prominently displayed in a conspicuous location at the site, together with a document providing the name, current address, and telephone number of the permit holder and the telephone numbers of police and fire services. The permit and the emergency numbers shall remain prominently displayed at all times during the course of all work authorized or required by the permit.
Prior to the approval of any permit or amended permit, the applicant shall provide timely and informative notice of the permit application to the public by publication in a local newspaper at least 10 days prior to the hearing. The notice shall provide the name and address of the applicant, the location and date of the proposed release, the location and date of the public hearing and shall state that a permit application has been filed with the Township Clerk. The public shall be afforded the opportunity to review the permit application filed with the Township Clerk during regular business hours. Any public comment submitted to the governing body shall be made part of the record and considered by the governing body in determining whether to approve the permit. The governing body shall hold a public hearing on a permit application before adopting the resolution approving said permit.
Notice of the public hearing pursuant to Subsection A of this section shall be given to the owners of all real property as shown on the current Township Tax Map located within 200 feet in all directions of the site. Notice shall be given by the person proposing to release the genetically engineered microorganism, who shall mail a copy of the public hearing notice by certified mail to the property owner at his address as shown on the current Township tax records at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
As a precondition to the issuance of a permit under § 98-3 of this chapter, the applicant shall execute and file with the governing body a surety bond guaranteeing compliance with all provisions of this chapter and all provisions and conditions of the permit. The bond shall be in an amount established by resolution of the governing body. The surety bond required by this section shall be executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the State of New Jersey. The governing body shall not approve any bond until it is personally signed and acknowledged by both principal and surety, or as to either by his attorney in fact with a certified copy of the power of attorney attached thereto. The governing body shall not approve a bond unless there is attached a certificate of the Commissioner of Insurance that the company is authorized to transact fidelity and surety business in this state.
All bonds shall run to the governing body as obligee.
The governing body may order the immediate suspension of any activities related to the release of genetically engineered microorganisms if it finds that the activity poses an imminent danger to public health, safety or welfare or results in, or is likely to result in, substantial damage to the environment. Within five calendar days after the issuance of the order the governing body shall provide the permittee an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence that the allegedly dangerous condition or activity is not likely to result in substantial damage to the environment and does not present an imminent danger to public health, safety, or welfare. After the hearing the governing body shall make a final determination. Any person aggrieved by such a determination may appeal the same to the Superior Court of New Jersey.
If the governing body finds that a holder of a permit issued under § 98-3 of this chapter has violated a provision or condition of this permit or a rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter, the governing body may declare the surety bond filed to guarantee compliance forfeited. The governing body shall certify the forfeiture to the Municipal Attorney who shall proceed to collect the amount thereof, and forward it to the governing body.
A holder of a permit issued under § 98-3 of this chapter shall restore, or cause to be restored, the land surface within the area disturbed in siting in accordance with a plan approved by the governing body.
If the governing body requires more information from the person during the six-month period between filing of the notice and the proposed release date, the release date may be postponed by order of the governing body, as necessary, pending further action or investigation of the governing body. A person shall not release any genetically engineered microorganism into the outdoor environment of this Township if the release is not approved by the governing body.
A person who violates this chapter is liable to a fine of up to $1,000, or imprisonment for a term not to exceed six months, or both. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues constitutes an additional, separate and distinct offense.
In addition to the penalties provided above, if a person violates this chapter, or if the Municipal Attorney has reason to believe that a person is about to violate this chapter, the Municipal Attorney may seek injunctive relief to prohibit and prevent the violation.