Township of Hardwick, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Township committee finds and determines that the unregulated and uncontrolled relocation, filing, excavation and removal of earth on a large scale has resulted in conditions detrimental to the public safety, health and general welfare, substantially hampering and deterring the efforts of the Township planning.
As used in this chapter:
a. 
EARTH -- Shall include top soil, muck humus rock, gravel, and all types of earth similar thereto.
No person shall excavate or otherwise remove earth for sale or use other than on the premises from which the earth shall be taken except in connection with the construction or alteration of a building on such premises, and excavation on normal grading incidental thereto, without first having procured permission therefor from the Township Committee.
The Township Committee shall not consider any application for the removal of earth from the premises for sale or otherwise, unless and until the owner of the premises shall first file with the Township Committee an application requesting such permission, together with a map of the premises showing the contour lines and proposed contour grades resulting from such intended removal of earth in relation to the topography of the premises and the proposed contour lines and proposed grades shall be subject to the inspection and approval of the governing body of the Township. No such permission for earth removal shall be issued until such map has been filed and until the proposed contour lines and grades have been approved by the Township Committee.
The Township Committee in considering and reviewing the application and arriving at its decision, shall be guided and take into consideration the public health, safety and general welfare and particular consideration shall be given to the following factors:
a. 
Earth erosion by water or wind.
b. 
Drainage.
c. 
Earth fertility.
d. 
Lateral support slopes and grade of abutting streets and lands.
e. 
Land values and uses.
f. 
Other factors as may bear upon or relate to the coordinated, adjusted and harmonious physical development of the Township.
In the event permission is not granted, the applicant upon written request for a hearing made to the Township Committee shall be given an opportunity to be heard within 30 days after the refusal of the application.
If after examining the application and map, provided for in Subsection 12-1.4 or after the hearing, in the event a hearing is requested by the applicant, the Township Committee shall be of the opinion that the proposed earth removal will not create conditions inimical to the public health, safety and welfare and will not result in the creation of any sharp declivities, pits or repressions, earth erosion or fertility problems, depressed land values or create any drainage sewerage problems or other condition of danger permission to remove the earth shall be granted. Such permission shall be effective for a period of time to be determined by the Township Committee.
If permission to remove the earth shall be granted, the owner or person in charge shall so conduct the operation so that there shall be no sharp declivities, pits or depressions, and in such a manner that the area shall be properly leveled off, cleared of debris and graded to conform with the contour lines and grades as approved by the Township.
The owner of the premises or person in charge of the removal of the earth, when permission has been duly granted, shall not take away the top layer of arable earth for a depth of six inches, but such top layer of arable earth to a depth of six inches shall be set aside for retention on the premises, and shall be re-spread over the premises when the rest of the earth has been removed, pursuant to levels and contour lines approved by the Township Committee.
Before any permit or permission for removal of earth shall be granted or issued, the owner or applicant shall file with the Township Committee, a bond in form and with acceptable surety, if required, in such amount as shall be deemed sufficient to insure the faithful performance of the work to be undertaken.
No excavation shall be made and no earth shall be removed under the provisions of this section unless a permit therefor shall have been first obtained as provided herewith, and no excavation shall be made and no earth shall be removed except in conformity with the provisions of this section.
Any person who shall violate any of the terms or provisions of this ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 3, § 3-1.
[Added 5-1-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-02; amended 7-10-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-05]
The Township Committee finds and determines that the placement of contaminated soil within the boundaries of the Township of Hardwick poses a threat to the safety, public health, and general welfare of the Township's residents. The adoption and enforcement of this section does not exempt an applicant from required approvals of the local Soil Conservation District and is meant to act in conjunction with all Soil Conservation District requirements with respect to soil importation.
As used in this section:
APPLICANT
Any person or entity who has filed an application with the Township Clerk pursuant to the provisions of § 12-2.4 herein.
CONTAMINATED
Soil or fill material containing one or more contaminants from an unintentional or intentional spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, or dumping of a hazardous substance, hazardous waste, pollutant, or naturally occurring contaminant at a concentration which fails to satisfy any applicable remediation standard as defined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
FILL MATERIAL
All forms of reclaimed materials, whether organic or inorganic, including by way of example, but not by way of limitation, quarry process, crushed masonry, recycled concrete aggregate, brick or brick fragments, asphalt millings, dredging materials, and any mixtures thereof or in mixtures with soil.
HAZARDOUS
The presence of one or more contaminants at levels generally considered to pose a threat to human health, whether from short-term or long-term direct exposure, or from consequent degradation of surface or groundwater resources.
IMPORTATION AND IMPORT
The movement of soil or fill materials onto properties located within the boundaries of the Township of Hardwick from one or more locations outside the Township's boundaries.
PROPERTY
All contiguous lands owned by the same person or entity.
SOIL
And include all forms of earth, whether organic or inorganic, including by way of example, but not by way of limitation, surface or subsurface dirt, stone, rock, gravel, crushed stone, sand, humus, clay, loam, minerals, topsoil, and any mixtures thereof.
Importation of contaminated soil or fill materials into the Township of Hardwick is prohibited.
a. 
No person shall import or engage in any preparatory site work to import soil or fill materials onto a site within the Township of Hardwick in quantities of 250 cubic yards or more without first having procured a permit thereof by the filing of an application for such soil importation with the Zoning Officer. The application shall be accompanied by a minimum fee of $150 for a maximum of 500 cubic yards. For quantities in excess of 500 cubic yards, said fee shall be $300. The applicant shall also deposit an escrow with the Township Clerk in the amount of $150 to cover the costs of the Township Engineer's review of the application pursuant to § 12-2.6. The Township Engineer may require additional escrow provided that Township Engineer's initial review results in a determination for additional engineering review or retention of professional services as described in § 12-2.6 herein.
b. 
The application shall disclose the address and location from which the soil or fill materials will be obtained, the owner or representative of the owner of the premises from which the soil or fill materials is to be obtained and the kind and quality of soil and fill materials to be imported.
c. 
The application shall include the name(s) and address(es) of the property owner and the stated purpose for importation activity; for example, to level a rocky area for the purposes of establishing a lawn or pasture area.
d. 
The application shall include documentation from the soil or fill material supplier(s) certifying that the material imported is free of contaminants.
e. 
The applicant shall ensure that the materials supplier provides bills of lading, or its equivalent, for each truckload of material imported into Hardwick Township. Said bill of lading shall originate from the materials supplier, be carried by the trucker during transportation and delivery, and a copy of the original shall be provided to the applicant or the applicant's agent upon delivery of the material. The applicant shall retain all bills of lading, or its equivalent documentation, for a period of two years after completion of the importation activity or expiration of the permit, whichever occurs first, and, upon request, shall present said documentation to the Zoning Officer for his inspection. The Zoning Officer may, at his discretion, request photocopies of said documentation for the Township's records. Failure to provide this documentation is a violation of the Soil Importation Ordinance and is subject to fines and stop work orders at the Zoning Officer's discretion. At minimum, the bills of lading, or their equivalent, shall provide the following information:
1. 
Date, time of day, and location at which a load of material is received by the trucker;
2. 
Name and address of the supplier of the loaded material;
3. 
Summary description of the material;
4. 
Volume of the material in cubic yards;
5. 
Date, time of day, and location at which the material is delivered; and
6. 
Place for applicant's signature or the applicant's agent confirming receipt of the delivered material.
Permits shall expire 90 days after approval pursuant to § 12-2.4. Expired permits may be renewed one time upon the filing of a renewal application with the Zoning officer. The renewal application shall be accompanied by a minimum fee of $100. Application for renewals shall be approved provided that there are no changed to the scope of the project or to the previously approved source of imported soil and fill materials as described pursuant to § 12-2.4. Material change to the project, including, but not limited to, changes in scope of project or source of imported soil and fill materials, shall result in denial of the renewal application. Denials of renewal applications shall not prejudice the refiling of an application for a permit pursuant to § 12-2.4.
Where there is an approved site plan and said site plan approval includes provisions for importation of soil or fill materials, no additional permit or fee shall be required. Permitted construction or repair of septic systems and driveways is explicitly exempted from the requirements of § 12-2.3.
a. 
The Township Engineer shall review all applications required by § 12-2.4 and if, in the opinion of the Township Engineer, professional review of the application including physical examination or testing of soil or fill materials is required, the Engineer shall forward all pertinent materials to a soil consultant or environmental consultant for review and testing. A certified testing soil laboratory report shall be delivered to the Zoning Officer within 30 days from the date of a completed application during which time the permit shall be considered pending approval with the possibility of denial. The report of the consultant shall be accompanied by an invoice for the services performed. The applicant shall establish an escrow fund in the Township Clerk's office to satisfy the cost of testing and professional review based upon an estimate of the cost involved to be provided by the Township Engineer.
b. 
If the Township Engineer, in the course of review, determines that Township roads may sustain meaningful "wear and tear" damage due to the passage of trucks carrying the imported materials, the Township's Public Works Manager shall review the application. If meaningful damage is determined to be likely, the Public Works Manager shall provide a reasonable estimate of excess costs attributable to truck traffic associated with the importation activity. Such estimate(s) shall fairly apportion and distinguish between costs associated with the importation activity and those associated with normal usage of the Township's roadways including occasional passage of heavy trucks. The applicant shall be solely responsible for costs attributable to the importation activity and shall establish an escrow fund in the Township Clerk's office sufficient to refund the Township for this expense.
c. 
If, during the course of soil or fill material importation, the Township Engineer shall determine that a physical examination of the material involved is required to ensure protection of public health and safety, the Township may retain, at its discretion, a soil consultant to examine the imported material. Such examination and shall be at the sole expense of the applicant who shall establish an escrow account to cover the possibility that this cost may be incurred.
d. 
If it is determined that contaminated soil or fill materials have been imported into the Township, whether unintentionally or intentionally, any ongoing importation activities shall cease immediately and the property owner shall, at the Township's discretion, be responsible for remediation or removal of the material. If the imported material is determined to be hazardous, remediation and/or removal shall be required. Any such remediation or removal shall be conducted under the supervision of the Township Engineer at the sole expense of the property owner. In addition, a fine of $2,000 per day will be imposed until all contaminated materials have been removed from the municipality.
e. 
If the Township Engineer, in the course of review, determines the need for site plan review, the application shall be referred to the Hardwick Township Planning Board for review pursuant to the provisions of § 13-71 et seq. of the Land Use Ordinance[1] and approval of the permit shall be stayed pending review of the application by the Hardwick Township Land Use Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 13, Land Development.
When local schools are in session, truck traffic for the permitted importation of soil or fill materials shall be limited to the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays inclusive. When local schools are not in session, truck traffic for the permitted importation of soil or fill materials shall be limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays inclusive. Traffic for permitted importation of materials is prohibited on Saturdays and Sundays and the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.