[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Washington 12-22-2004 by Ord. No. 31-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 96.
Hazardous waste — See Ch. 112.
Land use procedures — See Ch. 125.
Site plan review — See Ch. 199.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 220.
Zoning — See Ch. 285.
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 273, Wellhead Protection, adopted 8-21-2000 by Ord. No. 15-2002.
Title. This chapter shall be known as the "Wellhead Protection Overlay District Ordinance."
Findings. The following findings establish the basis for this chapter:
Protection of water resources is an objective of the New Jersey Development and Redevelopment Plan.
Protection of water resources is an objective of the New Jersey Source Water Assessment Plan, developed pursuant to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
The source of all water used as drinking water in Washington Township is groundwater.
Groundwater is vulnerable to contamination from certain uses of or activities on land, and once contaminated, groundwater, in general, is difficult and expensive to clean. If groundwater becomes very contaminated, it may be necessary to locate alternative sources of drinking water.
In the interest of safeguarding drinking water sources, protecting the health of the public and protecting the economic interest of the community in its drinking water supply, it is prudent to prevent contamination of groundwater by regulating or prohibiting certain land uses or activities.
The Washington Township Planning Board has prepared a reexamination report and adopted a Master Plan revision pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-89 by Resolution 04-27, dated May 13, 2004, and in part has recommended protection of drinking water sources by developing a wellhead protection ordinance and incorporating a wellhead protection area map as part of the Master Plan. As a result, this chapter amending any zoning classification or boundary, is part of the Planning Board's recommendations in a periodic general reexamination of its Master Plan.
Purpose. The purpose of the Wellhead Protection Overlay District is to protect public health, welfare and safety of the citizens and institutions that are customers of the Washington Township Municipal Utilities Authority (WTMUA) and community water systems in neighboring communities, by regulating the land use and the storage, handling, use and/or production of hazardous substances and hazardous wastes within wellhead protection areas for existing and proposed municipal wells. The intent of this chapter is to protect community water supplies from contamination. This chapter is also meant to encourage coordinated protection efforts with neighboring municipalities.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- APPROVING AUTHORITY
- The Washington Township Planning Board or Zoning Board.
- HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES
- All substances, elements or compounds, excluding petroleum products, designated under 40 CFR 116 pursuant to Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (Clean Water Act), the Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq., as amended, or the New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10A-1, et seq. Sewage and sewage sludge shall be considered hazardous substances for the purposes of this section.
- HAZARDOUS WASTE
- Any solid waste that is defined or identified as a hazardous waste pursuant to the Solid Waste Management Act, N.J.S.A. 13:1E et seq., N.J.A.C. 7:26-8 or 40 CFR Part 261, but specifically excluding petroleum products.
- REGULATED LAND USE
- Any hazardous substance or hazardous waste as defined above and made part of Exhibit A attached hereto. For the purpose of this chapter, the storage of petroleum products will not be deemed a regulated land use within the meaning of this chapter.
- TIER 1
- The area, described in plan view around a well, from which groundwater is reasonably likely to flow to the well within two years. It extends from the well to the boundary established to represent the two-year time of travel.
- TIER 2
- The area, described in plan view around a well, from which groundwater is reasonably likely to flow to the well within five years. It extends from the perimeter of Tier 1 to the boundary representing the five-year time of travel.
- TIER 3
- The area, described in plan view around a well, from which groundwater is reasonably likely to flow to the well within 12 years. It extends from the perimeter of Tier 2 to the outer boundary representing the twelve-year time of travel.
- WELLHEAD PROTECTION AREA
- The area, within the corporate boundaries of the Township and described in plan view around a well, from which groundwater is reasonably likely to flow to the well and through which groundwater pollution, if it occurs, is reasonably likely to pose a significant threat to the water quality of a well. Wellhead protection areas consist of three tiers, corresponding to areas, on average, from which groundwater flows to a well in two years (Tier 1), five years (Tier 2) and 12 years (Tier 3). These areas are delineated by the New Jersey Geological Survey of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. A map of the wellhead protection areas is included as part of this chapter and is included in the Master Plan revision adopted by the Planning Board on May 13, 2004. The map described shall be considered superimposed over any other established zoning district. Land in the wellhead protection area may be used for any purpose permitted in the underlying district, subject to the additional restrictions listed herein.
This chapter applies to all land uses and activities located or proposed within the areas designated as wellhead protection areas on an overlay district map entitled "Wellhead Protection Area Delineation," attached hereto, prepared by Richard A. Alaimo Association of Engineering with last revision date of June 20, 2002, adopted by the Planning Board as part of the Master Plan dated May 13, 2004, and as defined in § 273-2.
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the Township offices.
It shall be the responsibility of any persons owning real property and/or owning or operating a business within Washington Township to make a determination of the applicability of the wellhead protection area delineation as it pertains to the property and/or business under his ownership or operation, and his failure to do so shall not excuse any violations of this chapter.
Where the boundary of any tier within a wellhead protection area delineation divides any property, respective portion(s) of the property shall be considered to lie within the corresponding tier or tiers defined in the wellhead protection area delineation.
The permitted uses within the wellhead protection area delineation shall be those of the underlying zoning district, except those uses that are regulated land uses.
As of the date of adoption of this chapter, within the wellhead protection area delineation, certain land uses shall be considered regulated land uses, and shall be prohibited in Tiers 1, 2, 3 or may be permitted only by a conditional use approval by the Planning Board, according to Exhibit A attached hereto, even if they are permitted uses in the underlying zoning district.
The uses prohibited in the wellhead protection area delineation Tiers 1, 2 or 3, or that may be allowed by a conditional use approval by the Planning Board, represent the state of knowledge and most common description of said uses. To screen for uses, no use shall be permitted in this District without first submitting its site and operational plans to the Washington Township Environmental Commission (WTEC) and Washington Township Environmental Engineer for review and Planning Board for review and approval.
Uses of land in existence on the date of adoption of this chapter that are regulated land uses shall be deemed to be nonconforming uses of land under this chapter. Such nonconforming uses may continue by the present or any subsequent owners so long as:
Such nonconforming use has not been and is not abandoned for a period of 12 consecutive months;
Such nonconforming use is not, after the date of adoption of this chapter, materially altered, changed or expanded; and
Such nonconforming use is not an actual known source of groundwater contamination.
A regulated land use which is prohibited or allowed by a conditional use approval approved by the Planning Board shall be deemed to be new or materially altered, changed or expanded if:
The regulated land use was not previously present and conducted upon the lot or tract of land in question;
The production and/or storage capacity of the regulated land use is increased;
The types of any substances which give rise to the use being a regulated land use are changed;
The number or types of substances which give rise to the use being a regulated land use are increased; and/or
The quantity of any substances which give rise to the use being a regulated land use is materially increased.
Any land use that is allowed as a result of granting a conditional use approval approved by the Planning Board in accordance with the terms of this chapter shall not be deemed to be a nonconforming land use under this chapter.
Conditional use approval from the Planning Board shall be required to conduct any new regulated land use or any proposed material change, alteration or expansion of a nonconforming regulated land use within an applicable tier of the wellhead protection area. The conditional use approval shall be granted provided that:
Such regulated land use will not, during or after construction, cause degradation of groundwater quality upon or beneath the lot in question, or upon or beneath adjacent lots; and
Satisfactory evidence has been provided to the appropriate authority that the proposed regulated land use is in compliance with all federal, state and county laws and regulations applicable to such regulated land use and the owner or operator has received all necessary approvals of federal, state and county government authorities for the conduct of such regulated land use.
Application for a conditional use approval may be made to the Planning Board in writing on such form as may be prescribed by the Planning/Zoning Office, and such application shall include, at a minimum, a detailed description of each of the activities to be conducted upon the lot in question which constitute a regulated land use, including a listing of all hazardous substances and hazardous wastes which are to be stored, handled, used or produced in connection with each regulated land use being proposed.
Any application for conditional use approval shall be immediately referred to the WTEC and the WTMUA for their respective review and recommendation of approval or disapproval. Failure of the WTEC or WTMUA to provide a recommendation within 45 days, provided that the WTEC and WTMUA each receive two copies of the application at least 10 days in advance of a regularly scheduled meeting, shall be deemed a recommendation by that body for approval. In the event that the WTEC or WTMUA recommends denial of an application or requests additional information with respect to the application, they shall specify in writing the reason(s) for their actions. The Planning Board shall review and consider the recommendations of the WTEC and WTMUA, and those recommendations shall be made part of the record before the Planning Board.
The Planning Board shall issue a written determination approving or disapproving the application for conditional use approval upon adherence to any or all of the following requirements by the applicant for the conditional use approval, where such requirements are deemed necessary to fulfill the groundwater protection objectives of this chapter:
The installation of adequate containment facilities and systems so as to prevent groundwater contamination;
The preparation, filing and periodic revision of any emergency plan addressing means to control, collect and remediate any potential contamination of groundwater, including emergency contacts and identification of potential contaminants;
Regular inspection and/or monitoring by the owner or operator or Zoning Officer or his designee and/or third parties of the regulated land use; and
Compliance by the applicant with all other provisions of this chapter.
The area and bulk regulations within the Wellhead Protection Overlay District shall be those of the underlying zoning district.
In addition to the consideration of the use requirements and/or restrictions described above, the approving authority may require the applicant to submit additional information related to groundwater quality and protection as part of the site plan developed and submitted for the parcel, for example, the nature of materials to be used; expectations for storage of construction materials/debris; hydrogeologic information; stormwater management; etc.
The approving authority shall not consider any application for a variance from the provisions of this chapter until the WTEC and the WTMUA have had an opportunity to review the application and make a written recommendation to the approving authority. Any application for a variance from this chapter shall be transmitted to the WTEC and WTMUA, which shall have 45 days from the filing of the application to review and issue their recommendations. The application shall be advertised for a public hearing at the next regularly scheduled voting session of the approving authority following the expiration of the forty-five-day period.