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NJ’s Dirty Dirt Bill Is One Step Closer to Ending Organized Illegal Dumping

Posted on December 30, 2019 by Lauren Scott

Earlier this month, the New Jersey State Assembly passed a resolution to expand the requirements for people and businesses that handle solid waste and instating harsher penalties for those who do not comply.

Illegal dumping operations in NJ gained national attention earlier this year, when a residential property owner in Vernon was prosecuted and jailed for allegedly operating an illegal commercial dump site that resulted in a seven-story pile of contaminated soil and debris.

Join us for expert-led hazardous materials, hazardous waste, and environmental training at the Lion Training Center in Sparta, NJ! Find a workshop at www.Lion.com/Sparta. 

What’s Changing for NJ Waste Disposal Operators?

Bill S1683/A4267, dubbed the “Dirty Dirt Bill,” comes after a 2017 State report revealed how loopholes in State solid waste regulations allowed for organized crime to take advantage of the solid waste disposal cycle.

State Assembly passed the bill, voting 75-0-1 to expand licensing and background check requirements for anyone working with hazardous waste, solid waste, or soil that can be recycled as fill. The bill also allows State agencies to issue civil penalties as high $100,000 per day and third-degree criminal penalties for any person(s) in noncompliance.

Under the “Dirty Dirt Bill,” State and local authorities may enter any facility where dirt or waste is being moved and take samples for compliance testing. Local law enforcement will also have the authority to stop any dump trucks suspected of carrying solid waste and perform license checks.

Next Steps

Although some version of hazardous waste regulation reform has been on the table for State legislators since at least 2012, reports of widespread illegal dumping only gained traction in the last few years.

Citizens and lawmakers from Sussex County have been asking the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to investigate an alleged illegal dump operation in Vernon for close to a decade.

The issue was brought before State Superior Court earlier this year, with the alleged dump operator ordered to serve a 90-day jail sentence and his assets turned over to a receiver who will use them to clean up any environmental contamination.

The current bill is expected to pass the State Senate and will require Governor Phil Murphy’s signature to become law.

Environmental Training Coming to Sparta, NJ in 2020

Join Lion Technology in Sparta, NJ for expert-led training to simplify environmental and hazardous materials compliance for 2020 and beyond. Reserve your seat now and take part in interactive workshops now approved for continuing education credits for Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs).

Network with professionals from a wide range of industries who know the challenges you face. You will develop a step-by-step approach to identify and comply with the hazmat transportation and EPA hazardous waste, air, water, and chemical regulations that impact your facility.   
See the full schedule of workshops at Lion.com/Sparta.