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Paterson City - Compliance and Enforcement Sweep
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I do if I think I might have a violation at my facility?

A: If you think you might have one or more environmental violations at your facility, contact the Department.

1. If you are a small business, (under 100 employees) you may call the Department’s Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) at (877) 753-1151 or (609) 292-3600). The SBAP is located in the Department’s Environmental Regulation Program, not the Enforcement Program. The SBAP provides confidential, anonymous assistance in the areas of air, water, hazardous waste and land use. They are also available to visit your facility if time permits. Because representatives of the SBAP serve in a compliance assistance capacity, not an enforcement capacity, they will not issue an enforcement action to you if they verify, during the Compliance portion of the Paterson Sweep, that you have a violation at your facility. Staff from this program can review the environmental requirements that pertain to your situation and review compliance options with you.
2. If you are a small business, (under 100 employees) you may apply for participation in the Department’s Greenstart Program which is a voluntary, on-site compliance assistance program operated by seasoned staff in the Enforcement Program. If you meet the eligibility criteria, an inspector(s) will visit your facility and review the environmental regulations that pertain to your program in a specific media area such as air, water, or waste, depending on your request. A comprehensive report of findings and recommendations is issued to the facility after the on-site visit. If necessary, free follow-up visits are conducted to ensure identified problems are corrected within an agreed upon time period.

Q: What should I do if I know I have a violation at my facility?

A: If you know you have one or more environmental violations at your facility, you should consider self-disclosing those violations to the Department. Most violations that are self-disclosed will be eligible for a 75 to 100 % penalty reduction if the following criteria are met:

1. You voluntarily discovered and disclosed the violation which means that the violation was not discovered because your air permit, for example, requires you to operate a Continuous Emission Monitor which automatically records emission levels.
2. You discovered and disclosed the violation independently of the government or a third party. For example, to satisfy this criteria, the violation cannot have been discovered by NJDEP during an earlier inspection or reported by a whistleblower or citizen.
3. You must disclose the violation to us within 21 days of having discovered it and correct it in 60 days (although small businesses are allowed up to 180 days). We will grant extensions of these timelines on a case by case basis.
4. You have not received an enforcement action for the same violation in the preceding 12 months (if the violation poses a minor risk to human health or the environment) or 36 months (if the violation poses a moderate risk to human health or the environment).

Violations classified as posing a minor risk to human health or the environment are eligible for a 100% reduction under this policy whereas violations that pose a moderate risk are eligible for a 75% reduction. Small businesses are eligible for a 100% reduction on both types of violations.

This policy is consistent with the regulations proposed by the Department in the NJ Register in August 2003 entitled “Penalty Incentives for Self-Disclosure of Violations” and is generally consistent with EPA’s policy on the same subject. The Department’s proposed regulations can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/news.html. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of the policy to your situation, please call Peg Hanna at (609) 633-2306.

Q: During the October 2002 Compliance and Enforcement Strike in Camden, what types of violations were found and what penalties were issued?

A: The violations found during the Camden Strike are available in a report. Click here to see the report in Adobe Acrobat format. Penalties in Camden ranged from $200 to $60,000.
Q: What is an NOV and what do I do if I receive one?

A: An NOV is an informal document issued as close to the discovery and confirmation of a violation as possible. This document is intended to be a quick clarification of what the violation is about, how to fix it, and the potential penalty liability involved. Responding quickly to an NOV by correcting the violation may help you avoid or reduce penalties. A DEP inspector issuing an NOV may not have all the information at the time to tell you conclusively if penalties will be forthcoming or how much they might be. But correcting a violation promptly is always a good idea for both you and the environment.

Q: What is the Community Right to Know Survey? Who has to fill it out and why? Where can I get a copy of the CRTK form?

A: Answers to these questions are available on the department's Community Right to Know web site.

Q: How would I know if I need to comply with the rules that govern underground storage tanks in NJ?

The Bureau of Underground Storage Tanks has information available on the Bureau of Underground Storage Tanks web site. Check out the frequently asked questions.

Q: Do I need a commercial Pesticide Applicator license?

A: Most people who apply pesticides (the term "pesticide" is broadly used to include substances designed to kill or control insects, weeds, rodents, fungi, and other pests) as part of their job or on a "for hire" basis need to be licensed as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator. A license to apply pesticides is required under the above circumstances, whether the pesticide can be obtained from the local garden center or a licensed pesticide dealer. Examples are exterminators, landscapers, tree sprayers, or pet groomers. These people all need to have a Commercial Pesticide Applicator license along with a Pesticide Applicator Business license. School maintenance people and apartment building superintendents who apply pesticides are other examples of people who need a Commercial Pesticide Applicator license, although they do not need an Applicator Business license since they are not in business to apply pesticides. For full details on pesticide licensing (including "dealer" licensing for those people who sell the more hazardous, or "restricted" pesticides) see the website for the DEP's Pesticide Control Program at www.pcpnj.org.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2002
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 5, 2004

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