[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Alpine as § 6-14 (Ord. No. 452) of the 1970 Revised General Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following terms shall have the meanings set forth:
- Any intentional or unintentional action or omission resulting in the releasing, spilling, leaking, dumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of 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 leak or spill involving any hazardous material, which cannot be reused or cannot be replenished without cost after that particular fire, leak or spill. These include, but are not restricted to, fire-fighting foam, chemical extinguishing agents, absorbent material, sand recovery drums and specialized protective equipment to include, but not restricted to, acid suits, acid gloves, goggles and protective clothing.
- HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE
- A substance defined as such in Section 3 of the "Spill Compensation and Control Act," 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, contain, carry or store any hazardous material.
- VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION
- A duly incorporated 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, leakage or spillage involving any hazardous material.
This chapter provides for the reimbursement for, or the replacement of, any and all equipment utilized by the borough for costs expended, without regard to ownership, for the purpose of mitigating, controlling or containing any incident in which a hazardous material is involved in a fire, leak, release or spill, where the potential thereof exists, or for the prevention of same.
This chapter also provides for the reimbursement for the expenses incurred by the borough for the wages, regular or overtime, paid to its employees, agents or servants as a result of an incident involving a hazardous material, fire, leak, release or spill of a hazardous material and for the costs of medical and hospital treatment for injuries incurred by agents, servants and employees of the borough.
This chapter entitles the borough to reimbursement for any expendable item used by the borough, or any of its agencies, in extinguishing any fire, stopping or containing any leak or controlling any spill of hazardous materials.
The discharge of hazardous substances is prohibited. This chapter shall not apply to discharge of hazardous substances pursuant to and in compliance with the conditions of a federal or state permit. Whenever any hazardous substance is discharged, the borough may, in its discretion, act to remove or arrange for the removal of such discharge. Any person who has discharged a hazardous substance or in any way is responsible for any hazardous substance which has been or shall be removed by the borough shall be strictly liable, jointly and severally, without regard to fault, for all cleanup and removal costs and shall be liable for the wages, regular and overtime, paid and the costs of medical and hospital treatment for injuries incurred by the agents, servants and employees of the borough.
Any person responsible for causing or allowing an unauthorized discharge of a hazardous substance that requires emergency action by a unit or volunteer organization of the borough in order to protect the public health, safety or welfare, or the environment, is liable jointly and severally to each such unit or organization for the necessary and reasonable additional or extraordinary costs incurred in investigating, mitigating, minimizing, removing and abating the discharge.
Any person causing any hazardous material fire, leak, spill or release involving a hazardous material must provide reimbursement for services rendered by any recovery company, towing company or any other technical assistance called for by the borough 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 declared 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 the borough and the towing company for their expenditures under the terms of this chapter.
Record of costs. A volunteer organization of the borough 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 Mayor and Council.
Collection by Borough Attorney. A volunteer organization of the borough responding to the emergency caused by the discharge of a hazardous substance may require 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. Before bringing a civil action for recovery of those costs, the Borough Attorney shall mail written notice to the responsible persons informing them that, unless the total certified costs are paid within 30 days after the date of mailing of the notice, the Borough Attorney shall bring a civil action for that amount.
Considerations in determining amount. In making determination of the amount required to be reimbursed pursuant to this chapter, the status of a person liable pursuant to § 131-4 as a taxpayer to the borough may be taken into consideration.
Compromise of claim. A volunteer organization responding to the emergency caused by the discharge of a hazardous substance may compromise and settle any claim for costs permitted pursuant to this chapter in such amount in the discretion of the unit or organization as may appear appropriate and equitable under all of the circumstances.
Crediting of sums recovered. 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 fire, leak or spill of hazardous material who fails to reimburse the borough within the time required shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50 or more that $500 per day, or by imprisonment for a period of not more than six months, or both.