New Jersey Revised Statutes § 13:1d-9 - Powers Of Department.

13:1D-9 Powers of department.

12.The department shall formulate comprehensive policies for the conservation of the natural resources of the State, the promotion of environmental protection and the prevention of pollution of the environment of the State. The department shall in addition to the powers and duties vested in it by this act or by any other law have the power to:

a.Conduct and supervise research programs for the purpose of determining the causes, effects and hazards to the environment and its ecology;

b.Conduct and supervise Statewide programs of education, including the preparation and distribution of information relating to conservation, environmental protection and ecology;

c.Require the registration of persons engaged in operations which may result in pollution of the environment and the filing of reports by them containing such information as the department may prescribe to be filed relative to pollution of the environment, all in accordance with applicable codes, rules or regulations established by the department;

d.Enter and inspect any property, facility, building, premises, site or place for the purpose of investigating an actual or suspected source of pollution of the environment and conducting inspections, collecting samples, copying or photocopying documents or records, and for otherwise ascertaining compliance or noncompliance with any laws, permits, orders, codes, rules and regulations of the department. Any information relating to secret processes concerning methods of manufacture or production, obtained in the course of such inspection, investigation or determination, shall be kept confidential, except this information shall be available to the department for use, when relevant, in any administrative or judicial proceedings undertaken to administer, implement, and enforce State environmental law, but shall remain subject only to those confidentiality protections otherwise afforded by federal law and by the specific State environmental laws and regulations that the department is administering, implementing and enforcing in that particular case or instance. In addition, this information shall be available upon request to the United States Government for use in administering, implementing, and enforcing federal environmental law, but shall remain subject to the confidentiality protection afforded by federal law. If samples are taken for analysis, a duplicate of the analytical report shall be furnished promptly to the person suspected of causing pollution of the environment;

e.Receive or initiate complaints of pollution of the environment, including thermal pollution, hold hearings in connection therewith and institute legal proceedings for the prevention of pollution of the environment and abatement of nuisances in connection therewith and shall have the authority to seek and obtain injunctive relief and the recovery of fines and penalties in a court of competent jurisdiction;

f.Prepare, administer and supervise Statewide, regional and local programs of conservation and environmental protection, giving due regard for the ecology of the varied areas of the State and the relationship thereof to the environment, and in connection therewith prepare and make available to appropriate agencies in the State technical information concerning conservation and environmental protection, cooperate with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services in the preparation and distribution of environmental protection and health bulletins for the purpose of educating the public, and cooperate with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services in the preparation of a program of environmental protection;

g.Encourage, direct and aid in coordinating State, regional and local plans and programs concerning conservation and environmental protection in accordance with a unified Statewide plan which shall be formulated, approved and supervised by the department. In reviewing such plans and programs and in determining conditions under which such plans may be approved, the department shall give due consideration to the development of a comprehensive ecological and environmental plan in order to be assured insofar as is practicable that all proposed plans and programs shall conform to reasonably contemplated conservation and environmental protection plans for the State and the varied areas thereof;

h.Administer or supervise programs of conservation and environmental protection, prescribe the minimum qualifications of all persons engaged in official environmental protection work, and encourage and aid in coordinating local environmental protection services;

i.Establish and maintain adequate bacteriological, radiological and chemical laboratories with such expert assistance and such facilities as are necessary for routine examinations and analyses, and for original investigations and research in matters affecting the environment and ecology;

j.Administer or supervise a program of industrial planning for environmental protection; encourage industrial plants in the State to undertake environmental and ecological engineering programs; and cooperate with the State Departments of Health and Senior Services, and Labor and Workforce Development, and the New Jersey Commerce Commission in formulating rules and regulations concerning industrial sanitary conditions;

k.Supervise sanitary engineering facilities and projects within the State, authority for which is now or may hereafter be vested by law in the department, and shall, in the exercise of such supervision, make and enforce rules and regulations concerning plans and specifications, or either, for the construction, improvement, alteration or operation of all public water supplies, all public bathing places, landfill operations and of sewerage systems and disposal plants for treatment of sewage, wastes and other deleterious matter, liquid, solid or gaseous, require all such plans or specifications, or either, to be first approved by it before any work thereunder shall be commenced, inspect all such projects during the progress thereof and enforce compliance with such approved plans and specifications;

l.Undertake programs of research and development for the purpose of determining the most efficient, sanitary and economical ways of collecting, disposing, recycling or utilizing of solid waste;

m.Construct and operate, on an experimental basis, incinerators or other facilities for the disposal of solid waste, provide the various municipalities and counties of this State, and the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs with statistical data on costs and methods of solid waste collection, disposal and utilization;

n.Enforce the State air pollution, water pollution, conservation, environmental protection, solid and hazardous waste management laws, rules and regulations, including the making and signing of a complaint and summons for their violation by serving the summons upon the violator and thereafter filing the complaint promptly with a court having jurisdiction;

o.Acquire by purchase, grant, contract or condemnation, title to real property, for the purpose of demonstrating new methods and techniques for the collection or disposal of solid waste;

p.Purchase, operate and maintain, pursuant to the provisions of this act, any facility, site, laboratory, equipment or machinery necessary to the performance of its duties pursuant to this act;

q.Contract with any other public agency or corporation incorporated under the laws of this or any other state for the performance of any function under this act;

r.With the approval of the Governor, cooperate with, apply for, receive and expend funds from, the federal government, the State Government, or any county or municipal government or from any public or private sources for any of the objects of this act;

s.Make annual and such other reports as it may deem proper to the Governor and the Legislature, evaluating the demonstrations conducted during each calendar year;

t.Keep complete and accurate minutes of all hearings held before the commissioner or any member of the department pursuant to the provisions of this act. All such minutes shall be retained in a permanent record, and shall be available for public inspection at all times during the office hours of the department;

u.Require any person subject to a lawful order of the department, which provides for a period of time during which such person subject to the order is permitted to correct a violation, to post a performance bond or other security with the department in such form and amount as shall be determined by the department. Such bond need not be for the full amount of the estimated cost to correct the violation but may be in such amount as will tend to insure good faith compliance with said order. The department shall not require such a bond or security from any public body, agency or authority. In the event of a failure to meet the schedule prescribed by the department, the sum named in the bond or other security shall be forfeited unless the department shall find that the failure is excusable in whole or in part for good cause shown, in which case the department shall determine what amount of said bond or security, if any, is a reasonable forfeiture under the circumstances. Any amount so forfeited shall be utilized by the department for the correction of the violation or violations, or for any other action required to insure compliance with the order;

v.Encourage and aid in coordinating State, regional and local plans, efforts and programs concerning the remediation and reuse of former industrial or commercial properties that are currently underutilized or abandoned and at which there has been, or is perceived to have been, a discharge, or threat of a discharge, of a contaminant. For the purposes of this subsection, "underutilized property" shall not include properties undergoing a reasonably timely remediation or redevelopment process; and

w.Conduct research and implement plans and programs to promote ecosystem-based management.
L.1970, c.33, s.12; amended 1975, c.33; 1981, c.446, s.1; 1983, c.38, s.1; 1984, c.5, s.1; 1997, c.278, s.26; 2007, c.246, s.2; 2007, c.288, s.6.

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Last modified: October 11, 2016