Bill Text: NJ A4092 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Authorizes performance of supplemental environmental project to replace portion of monetary penalties for environmental violations in certain circumstances.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-06-04 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee [A4092 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A4092-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4092

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 4, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  RONALD S. DANCER

District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Authorizes performance of supplemental environmental project to replace portion of monetary penalties for environmental violations in certain circumstances.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning environmental projects, and supplementing Title 13 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1.      As used in this act:

     "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection.

     "Environmental law" means the "Water Pollution Control Act," P.L.1977, c.74 (C.58:10A-1 et seq.); the "Air Pollution Control Act (1954)," P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-1 et seq.); the "Solid Waste Management Act," P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-1 et seq.); the "Industrial Site Recovery Act," P.L.1983, c.330 (C.13:1K-6 et seq.); the "Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act," P.L.1985, c.403 (C.13:1K-19 et seq.); the "Worker and Community Right To Know Act," P.L.1983, c.315 (C.34:5A-1 et al.); the "Comprehensive Regulated Medical Waste Management Act," P.L.1989, c.34 (C.13:1E-48.1 et seq.); P.L.1986, c.102 (C.58:10A-21 et seq.); the "Pollution Prevention Act," P.L.1991, c.235 (C.13:1D-35 et seq.); the "Spill Compensation and Control Act," P.L.1976, c.141 (C.58:10-23.11 et seq.); the "Noise Control Act of 1971," P.L.1971, c.418 (C.13:1G-1 et seq.); the "Pesticide Control Act of 1971," P.L.1971, c.176 (C.13:1F-1 et seq.); the "Radiation Protection Act," P.L.1958, c.116 (C.26:2D-1 et seq.); the "Coastal Area Facility Review Act," P.L.1973, c.185 (C.13:19-1 et seq.); the "Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act," P.L.1987, c.156 (C.13:9B-1 et seq.); "The Wetlands Act of 1970," P.L.1970, c.272 (C.13:9A-1 et seq.); R.S.12:5-1 et seq.; the "Flood Hazard Area Control Act," P.L.1962, c.19 (C.58:16A-50 et seq.); any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder; and any permit issued pursuant thereto.

     "Supplemental environmental project" or "SEP" means a pollution reduction, pollution prevention, environmental remediation, or environmental enhancement project that provides concrete and measurable health or environmental benefits, and is not otherwise required to be performed by a person who violates an environmental law.

 

     2.    a.  The Department of Environmental Protection may enter into a settlement agreement with a person who violates an environmental law that provides for the performance of a supplemental environmental project where the cost of the SEP replaces in part a monetary civil penalty or civil administrative penalty that would otherwise be assessed for the violation.  The performance of a SEP in place of a portion of a monetary penalty shall be voluntary on the part of the person violating the environmental law.

     b.    The department shall approve the performance of a SEP as a part of the settlement agreement pursuant to section 3 of this act.  After the final total penalty amount for a violation has been agreed to by the department and the person in violation of an environmental law, the total penalty amount may be reduced by the dollar amount of the cost of the performance of a SEP up to 75 percent of the total penalty amount agreed to in the settlement, except that for violations of the "Water Pollution Control Act," P.L.1977, c.74 (C.58:10A-1 et seq.) the SEP may offset no more than 50 percent of the amount of the penalty.

 

     3.    a.  A person proposing to perform a SEP as a part of a settlement agreement shall submit to the department a proposal for approval of the project.  The proposal for the SEP shall include:

     (1)  name of the person responsible for the performance of the SEP;

     (2)  description of the project;

     (3)  start and completion dates;

     (4)  timeline for the project including performance milestones;

     (5)  description and estimate of costs;

     (6)  environmental benefits of the project; and

     (7) dates for submission of interim and final verification of project performance for department review and approval.

     b.    The department shall consider the following factors in approving the performance of a SEP as part of a settlement agreement:

     (1)  capacity of the violator to complete the proposed SEP;

     (2)  resources and capacity of the department to verify proper performance of the SEP;

     (3)  compliance history of the violator;

     (4)  likelihood of purported environmental benefits  to be achieved by the SEP;

     (5)  relationship of the SEP with the community or ecosystem affected by the violation;

     (6)  whether the SEP advances environmental priorities identified by the department;

     (7) whether the SEP improves the environment in an overburdened community; and

     (8)  involvement of the residents of community organizations in the development of the SEP.

     c.     The department shall review the proposed SEP, and no later than 30 days after submission thereof shall approve the project, recommend modifications, or disapprove the project.  Upon approval of the SEP, the department shall include the SEP in the settlement agreement for the violation.  The settlement agreement shall include a complete description of the terms of the SEP, including actions to be performed, start date, completion date, submissions required to be transmitted to the department, required verification procedures upon completion, and terms for failure to complete the SEP.

 

     4.    The Department of Environmental Protection may adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to implement the provisions of this act.

 

     5.    This act shall take effect on the 180th day after the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would authorize the Department of Environmental Protection (department) to enter into a settlement agreement with a person who violates an environmental law which would allow the performance of a supplemental environmental project (SEP) to replace a part the monetary civil penalty or civil administrative penalty that would otherwise be assessed for the violation.  The performance of a SEP in place of a portion of a monetary penalty would be voluntary on the part of the person violating the environmental law.  Under the bill, after a final total penalty amount for a violation of an environmental law has been agreed to by the department and the person in violation of the law, the total penalty amount would be reduced by the dollar amount of the cost of the performance of a SEP up to 75 percent of the total penalty amount agreed to in the settlement, or in the case of a violation of the "Water Pollution Control Act," no more than 50 percent of the amount of the penalty.

     A SEP would be proposed by the violator for approval by the department and would be incorporated in the settlement agreement.  The bill would require the department to consider the capacity of the violator to complete the proposed SEP, the resources and capacity of the department to verify proper performance of the SEP, the compliance history of the violator, the likelihood of the purported environmental benefits  to be achieved by the SEP, the relationship of the SEP with the community or ecosystem affected by the violation, whether the SEP advances environmental priorities identified by the department, whether the SEP improves the environment in an overburdened community, and the involvement of the residents of community organizations in the development of the SEP.

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