AN ACT to increase the penalties for air pollution violations and amending P.L.1954, c.212 and P.L.1962, c.215.
BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 19 of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-19) is amended to read as follows:
C.26:2C-19 Violations; penalties.
19. a. If any person violates any of the provisions of this act or any code, rule, regulation or order promulgated or issued pursuant to the provisions of this act, the department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive or any other appropriate relief to prohibit and prevent such violation or violations and the said court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.
b. Any person who violates the provisions of this act or any code, rule, regulation or order promulgated or issued pursuant to this act shall be liable to a civil administrative penalty of not more than $10,000.00 for the first offense, not more than $25,000.00 for the second offense, and not more than $50,000.00 for the third and each subsequent offense. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense. No civil administrative penalty shall be levied except upon an administrative order issued pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-14).
c. The department is hereby authorized and empowered to compromise and settle any claim for a penalty under this section in such amount in the discretion of the department as may appear appropriate and equitable under all of the circumstances.
d. Any person who violates the provisions of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-1 et seq.) or any code, rule, regulation, or other promulgated or issued pursuant to that act, or a court order issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section, or who fails to pay a civil administrative penalty in full pursuant to section 9 of P.L.1962, c.215 (C.26:2C-14.1), is subject, upon order of the court, to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00 for the first offense, not more than $25,000.00 for the second offense, and not more than $50,000.00 for the third and each subsequent offense. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which the violation continues, or each day in which the civil administrative penalty is not paid in full, constitutes an additional, separate and distinct offense. Any penalty imposed under this subsection may be recovered with costs in a summary proceeding pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.). The Law Division of the Superior Court has jurisdiction to enforce "the penalty enforcement law."
e. A person who causes a release of air contaminants in a quantity or concentration which poses a potential threat to public health, welfare or the environment or which might reasonably result in citizen complaints shall immediately notify the department. A person who fails to so notify the department is liable to the penalties and procedures prescribed in this section.
2. Section 14 of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-14) is amended to read as follows:
C.26:2C-14 Order to cease.
14. Whenever the department has cause to believe that any person is violating any code, rule or regulation promulgated by the department, the department shall cause a prompt investigation to be made in connection therewith. If upon inspection the department discovers a condition which is in violation of tho provisions of this act or any code, rule or regulation promulgated* pursuant thereto, it shall be authorized to order such violation to cease and to take such steps necessary to enforce such an order. The order to cease the violation issued by the commissioner and sent to the violator by certified mail or personal service shall include a reference to the section of the statute, regulation, order, or permit condition violated; the amount of the fine which shall be imposed; a concise statement of the facts alleged to constitute the violation; and a statement of the right of the violator to a hearing. The person responsible shall make the corrections necessary to comply with the requirements of this act or code, rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto within the time specified in the order. Nothing herein shall be deemed to prevent the department from prosecuting any violation of this act or any code, rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, notwithstanding that such violation is corrected in accordance with its order.
3. Section 9 of P.L.1962, c.215 (C.26:20-14.1) is amended to read as follows:
C.26:2C-14.1 Hearing on request; final order.
9. Any person aggrieved by an order of the department has 20 days from receipt of the order within which to deliver to the commissioner a written request for a hearing. Subsequent to the hearing, if requested, and upon a finding that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue a final order to cease the violation and assessing the amount of the fine specified in the order. If no hearing is requested, the order is a final order upon the expiration of the 20 day period. Payment of the penalty is due when a final order is issued or when the order becomes a final order. The authority to levy a civil administrative penalty is in addition to all other enforcement provisions in P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-1 et seq.), and the payment of a civil administrative penalty does not affect the availability of any other enforcement provision in connection with the violation for which the penalty is levied. Pending the determination by the department and upon application therefor the department may stay the operation of such order upon such terms and conditions as it may deem proper.
4. Section 22 of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-22) is amended to read as follows:
C.26:2C-22 Municipal, county regulation.
22. No ordinances of any governing body of a municipality or county or board of health more stringent than this act or any code, rules or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall be superseded by this act. Nothing in this act or in any code, rules or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall preclude the right of any governing body of a municipality or county or board of health, subject to the approval of the department, to adopt ordinances or regulations more stringent than this act or any code, rules or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Penalties for violations of ordinances of a governing body of a municipality, county or board of health shall not exceed $2,500.00.
5. This act shall take effect immediately.
Approved January 22, 1985.