[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Fredon as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-13-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-05]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was adopted as Ch. 258, but was renumbered to maintain the organization of the Code.
This article is enacted pursuant to and consistent with the Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq., and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder.
Unauthorized and unpermitted discharges of hazardous substances within the jurisdictional confines of Fredon Township are prohibited. This article establishes procedures and protocols for emergency response and provides for the recovery of costs incurred by Fredon Township as an agent of the County of Sussex in an emergency response action to unauthorized and unpermitted discharges and, as such, is within the provisions of the Sussex County Environmental Health Work Plan as approved by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Property.
The words and terms used in this article shall have the following meanings:
- An intentional or unintentional action or omission, unless pursuant to and in compliance with the conditions of a valid and effective state or federal permit, resulting in the releasing, spilling, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of a hazardous substance into the waters or onto the land of Fredon Township, or into waters outside the Township, or into waters outside of the Township when damage may result to the lands, waters or natural resources within the jurisdiction of the Township. This definition does not include any "leak" as defined below.
- EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTION
- Any action taken by the Township, its employees, agents or contractors in response to a discharge or threatened discharge of a hazardous substance for the purpose of:
- A. Investigating its cause, source or effect;
- B. Conducting or overseeing a remedial action;
- C. Initiating any action to prevent or mitigate any risk or threat to public health, safety or welfare arising out of a discharge; and
- D. Preventing or mitigating any damage or injury to public or private property or natural resources.
- EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTION COSTS
- All costs reasonably incurred by the Township of Fredon, its employees, approved agents, and contractors hired in connection with an emergency response action, including overtime costs for appropriately deployed employees and expendable items. Excluded are costs to pay volunteer responders and costs associated with firefighting and police support.
- EXPENDABLE ITEMS
- Any items used to prevent, mitigate or contain any discharge or threatened discharge which cannot be reused or replenished or replaced without cost after use or employment in an emergency response action. Expendable items shall include, but are not limited to, chemical extinguishing agents, absorbents and absorbent materials, sand, recovery drums, protective equipment and clothing, including such items as disposable chemical protective suits, gloves, boots, and goggles.
- HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES
- All substances included within the definition of "hazardous substances" under N.J.A.C. 7:1E-1.7, including all amendments and supplements thereto.
- LEAK or LEAKING
- Any escape of a hazardous substance from the ordinary containers employed in the normal course of storage, transfer, processing or use into a secondary containment or diversion system or onto a surface from which it is cleaned up and removed prior to its escape into the waters or onto the lands of the state.
- OWNER or OPERATOR
- Means, with respect to a vessel, any person owning or operating or chartering by demise such vessel; with respect to any facility or vehicle. any person or owner 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, including, 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.
- RESPONSIBLE PARTY
- A person who is in any way responsible for discharge, including each owner and operator and any other person obligated by law to clean up and remove contaminants.
The discharge of a hazardous substance is prohibited, except this prohibition shall not apply to discharges conducted in compliance with the conditions of a valid federal or state permit or otherwise authorized by law.
Any person who is in any way responsible for the discharge of a hazardous substance is liable strictly, jointly and severally for all emergency response action costs reasonably incurred by the Township, its agents, employees, and contractors and any personal or property damage incurred by the county, its agents, employees and contractors.
The Township may initiate and conduct an emergency response action in response to a discharge that has occurred, is occurring or threatens to occur within its geographical boundaries as an agent of the County of Sussex, as certified by the Department of Environmental Protection.
The Township may recover all costs reasonably incurred by it, its employees, approved agents, and contractors hired in connection with an emergency response action, including the overtime costs of appropriately deployed employees incurred by the Township in the recovery of these costs and the costs of expendable items.
Whenever the Township seeks to recover costs pursuant to this chapter, the Township, or any third-party collection service engaged by the Township, shall send, by certified and regular mail, a demand letter to the responsible party or parties, 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, its employees, agents, contractors and authorized political subdivisions in responding to the discharge;
A calculation sheet, including hours and personnel charged (if any), salary rates and any overhead rates;
An explanation of the procedures to be followed to pay the costs demanded or to appeal the demand;
The Township's costs of collection.
Payment shall be remitted within 45 days of receipt of the demand letter.
Whenever the Township issues a demand letter to a responsible party and the responsible party fails to remit payment within 45 days as prescribed herein, the Township may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the costs incurred in the emergency response action, reasonable litigation costs and interest on the outstanding amount due calculated from the 46th day following the receipt of the demand letter to the date judgment is rendered at the interest rate set forth in the Rules Governing the Courts of New Jersey.
This article 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.
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word contained in this article shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this article which shall remain in full force and effect.
This article shall be deemed to include any additions or amendments that may be required by the County of Sussex as lead response agent as a condition of approval.