Regional Low-Level Radioactive Waste

Disposal Facility Siting Act

(current as of September 1997)


Please note that the web page copy of the Siting Act is provided as a public service and is not an official copy of the Act. The official version of the Act can be obtained through the West Publishing Company (Phone: 1-800-808-WEST / 1-800-808-9378).


13:1E-177. Short title

This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Regional Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Siting Act."

L. 1987,c.333.

13:1E-178. Findings, declarations

The Legislature finds that Congress, pursuant to the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act," Pub.L. 96-573 (42 U.S.C. s. 2021b et seq.) and the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act Amendments of 1985," Pub.L. 99-240 (42 U.S.C. s. 2021d et seq.), has declared that, after January 1, 1986,

each state shall be responsible for providing capacity for the proper disposal of low-level radioactive waste generated within its borders, except for waste generated as a result of atomic energy defense activities of the federal government or federal research and development activities; that because the management and disposal of radioactive waste would be handled most safely and efficiently on a regional basis, New Jersey, pursuant to P.L.1983, c. 329 (C. 32:31-1 et al.), has entered as a party state into the Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact; and that among the obligations of each party state to that compact is the duty to establish a mechanism for the timely siting of a disposal facility within its jurisdiction in the event that it is designated as host state for the regional facility.

The Legislature further finds that the improper management and disposal of low-level radioactive waste poses a threat to the public health and safety and to the State's natural resources and environment; that a disposal facility appropriately sited and technologically suitable will insure that these wastes are effectively isolated from human contact for the duration of their hazardous lives; and that the location, design, construction, and operation of such a facility is a public purpose in the best interests of all citizens of this State.

The Legislature further finds and declares that the most effective, most efficient, and most equitable way to accomplish this purpose is to establish an independent board of experts in the relevant disciplines charged with siting the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in accordance with a procedure which offers the maximum opportunities for the informed participation of the general public, and of the citizens of the local communities prospectively impacted, and with supervising the design, construction, and operation of the facility, all as hereinafter provided.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-179. Definitions

As used in this act:

a. "Board" means the New Jersey Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Siting Board created pursuant to section 4 of this act;

b. "Commission" means the Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission created pursuant to Article IV of P.L.1983, c.329 (C.32:31-5);

c. "Committee" means the New Jersey Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee created pursuant to section 6 of this act;

d. "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection;

e. "Disposal" means the isolation of low-level radioactive waste from the biosphere for the hazardous life of the waste;

f. "Environmental and health impact statement" means a statement of likely environmental and public health impacts resulting from the construction and operation of the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility, and includes an inventory of existing environmental conditions at the site, a project description, an assessment of the impact of the project on the environment and on public health, a listing of unavoidable environmental and public health impacts, and steps to be taken to minimize environmental and public health impacts during construction and operation;

g. "Host municipality" means the municipality in which a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility is to be located;

h. "Facility" means the land, buildings, equipment, and improvements used or developed for the treatment, storage, or disposal of the low-level radioactive wastes generated within the party states to the Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact;

i. "Low-level radioactive waste" means radioactive waste that (1) is neither high-level waste nor spent fuel, nor by-product material as defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of 42 U.S.C. s.2014; and (2) is classified by the federal government as low-level waste, consistent with existing law; but does not include waste generated as a result of atomic energy defense activities of the federal government, as defined in the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act," Pub.L.96-573 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.) and the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985," Pub.L.99-240 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.) or federal research and development activities;

j. "Owner or operator" means, in addition to the usual meanings thereof, every owner of record of any interest in land whereon the facility is located;

k. "Plan" means the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Plan adopted by the board pursuant to section 10 of this act;

l. "Region" means the geographical area encompassed by the combined jurisdictions of the party states to the Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact;

m. "Site" means both the physical location with a buffer zone and the technology employed to isolate low-level radioactive waste at that location; and

n. "Generator" means any person, association, public utility, hospital, clinic, research laboratory, corporation, society, radiopharmaceutical facility, academic facility, or nuclear medical research facility that produces low-level radioactive waste, or any other entity identified by the board that produces low-level radioactive waste, or that is licensed by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission to use, possess, handle or dispose of radioactive materials.

L.1987,c.333,s.3; amended 1991,c.166,s.1.

13:1E-180. New Jersey Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Siting Board

a. There is established in the Executive Branch of the State Government a public body corporate and politic, with corporate succession to be known as the New Jersey Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Siting Board. For the purpose of complying with the provisions of Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the board is allocated within the Department of Environmental Protection, but, notwithstanding that allocation, the board shall be independent of any supervision or control by the department or by the commissioner or any officer or employee thereof. The board shall constitute an instrumentality of the State exercising public and essential governmental functions, and the exercise by the board of the powers conferred by this or any other act shall be deemed and held to be an essential governmental function of the State.

b. The board shall comprise 11 members, except as otherwise provided in subsection c. of this section, as follows: the Commissioners of the Departments of Environmental Protection and Health, or their designees, who shall serve ex officio; and nine public members, of which three members shall be from industries which generate low-level radioactive waste, one of whom shall represent public utilities, one of whom shall represent hospitals or other health care facilities, and one of whom shall represent the radiopharmaceutical or nuclear medical research industries; three members with training and expertise in disciplines relevant to the management of radioactive waste, at least one of whom shall be a physician specializing in nuclear medicine; and three members who shall represent recognized environmental organizations or other public interest groups. Each of the public members shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of three years, provided that of the members of the board first appointed by the Governor, three shall serve for terms of one year, three for terms of two years, and three for terms of three years, so that one member from each of the three categories of membership shall be appointed to serve for a term of each duration. Each of these members shall hold office for the term of the appointment and until a successor shall have been appointed and qualified. A member shall be eligible for reappointment. Any vacancy in the membership occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, but for the unexpired term only.

c. Whenever the board considers the recommendations of an administrative law judge pursuant to subsection a. of section 11 hereof, two additional voting members shall be appointed to the board. One of the additional members shall be appointed by the governing body of the county wherein the proposed regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility is to be located, and the other shall be appointed by the governing body of the proposed host municipality. In the event that the proposed facility is to be located in more than one county or municipality, each of the affected county and municipal governing bodies shall appoint an additional member of the board, except that all of the county appointments shall share a single vote, and all of the municipal appointments shall share a single vote.

d. Each member may be removed from office by the appointing authority, for cause and after opportunity for a hearing, and may be suspended by the appointing authority pending the completion of the hearing. Any member who shall miss three consecutive meetings of the board without being excused for good cause by the chairman shall be deemed to have vacated his office.

e. Each member of the board shall, before entering upon the duties, take and subscribe an oath to perform the duties of office faithfully, impartially, and justly to the best of the person's ability. A record of these oaths shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.

f. The members of the board shall elect from among their number a chairman, who shall schedule, convene, and chair board meetings, and a vice-chairman, who shall act as chairman in his absence. The members of the board shall appoint an executive director, who shall be the chief administrative officer and secretary of the board. The executive officer shall serve at the pleasure of the board, and shall be a person qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of his office.

g. The powers of the board shall be vested in the members thereof in office, and a majority of the total authorized membership of the board shall be required to exercise its powers at any meeting thereof.

h. Each member of the board shall execute a bond to be conditioned upon the faithful performance of duties in a form and amount prescribed by the State Treasurer. The bonds shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State. At all times thereafter, the board members shall maintain the bonds in full force. The board shall pay the cost of the bonds.

i. The members of the board shall serve without compensation, but the board may, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available therefor, reimburse members for actual expenses necessarily incurred in the discharge of their official duties.

j. The members of the board may request, and the Attorney General shall provide, legal services as these services are provided to the department.

k. A true copy of the minutes of every meeting of the board shall be prepared and forthwith delivered by and under the certification of the secretary thereof to the Governor. No action taken at the meeting by the board shall have effect until 10 days, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays excepted, after the copy of the minutes shall have been so delivered, unless during the 10-day period, the Governor shall approve the minutes, in which case the action shall become effective upon that approval. If, in the 10-day period, the Governor returns the copy of the minutes with a veto of any action taken by the board at that meeting, the action shall be of no effect.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-181. Powers, duties of board

The board shall have the following powers and duties:

a. To adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;

b. To adopt and have a seal and to alter the same at its pleasure;

c. To enter into contracts upon such terms and conditions as the board shall determine to be reasonable, and to pay or compromise any claim arising therefrom;

d. To call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of such employees of any State, county or municipal department, board, commission or agency as may be required and made available for these purposes;

e. To contract for and to accept any gifts or grants or loans of funds or financial or other aid in any form from the United States of America or any agency, instrumentality or political subdivision thereof, and to comply, subject to the provisions of the act, with terms and conditions thereof;

f. To employ an executive director, consulting engineers, attorneys, real estate counselors, appraisers, and such other consultants and employees as may be required in the judgment of the board to carry out the purposes of this act, and to fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the board therefor, all without regard to the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes;

g. To hold public meetings or hearings within this State on any matter related to the siting of a regional low-level radioactive waste facility;

h. To administer the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility siting process established in this act, and to instruct all participants in the process as to methods and actions designed to provide for an effective and efficient implementation of the process;

i. To take actions necessary or appropriate to maximize the source and volume reduction of low-level radioactive waste generated within the region;

j. To seek and review proposals for the construction, maintenance, operation, closure, and post-closure observation and maintenance of the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility on the established site, and make recommendations as appropriate;

k. To do and perform any acts and things authorized by this act under, through, or by means of its own officers, agents, and employees, or by contract with any person;

l. To provide such information as necessary to both the department and the commission;

m. To use such information as may be developed by the commission or its contract agents;

n. To maintain oversight and supervision of the construction, maintenance, operation, closure, and post-closure observation and maintenance of a facility sited pursuant to the provisions of this act; and

o. To assess and collect fees from generators sufficient to meet all expenses incurred by the board and the department in implementing the provisions of this act.

In addition, the board and its representatives, agents, or employees shall have the right of entry to perform any and all actions necessary and contingent to its site selection duties.

L.1987,c.333,s.5; amended 1991,c.166,s.2.

13:1E-181.1. Registration of generator, fees

a. Every generator shall register with the board, on a form and in a manner prescribed by the board, and pay an annual fee in an amount set by the board pursuant to rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.). The board may set annual fees in accordance with a sliding scale based upon the activity and the volume of the low-level radioactive waste produced by the generator, and on any other factors the board deems relevant.

b. The fees authorized pursuant to this section may be assessed on the basis of calculations which shall include, but need not be limited to, the cost of site selection, characterization, design and engineering, land acquisition, the construction, operation and closure of a facility, and any other costs associated with the license application required to be submitted by the board to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission pursuant to the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985," Pub.L.99-240 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.). The board may also assess and collect fees in amounts necessary to defray costs incurred by the department in implementing the relevant provisions of P.L.1987, c.333 (C.13:1E-177 et seq.), and costs incurred by the department in complying with the provisions of the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act," Pub.L.96-573 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.) and the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985," Pub.L.99-240 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.).

L.1991,c.166,s.3.

13:1E-181.2. Fees paid to board considered current expense of providing utility service

a. The Board of Public Utilities shall consider all fees paid to the board by a public utility pursuant to section 3 of this act as a current expense of providing utility service, which shall be charged to all ratepayers of the utility in the same manner as other current operating expenses of providing utility service.

b. (1) The Commissioner of Health shall recommend to the Hospital Rate Setting Commission adjustments to the reimbursement rates for affected generators for fees imposed pursuant to section 3 of this act, but that are not currently reimbursed under the rate setting system established by section 5 of P.L.1978, c.83 (C.26:2H-4.1). The Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services shall recommend to the Commissioner of Human Services adjustments to the reimbursement rates under Medicaid for affected generators for fees that are imposed pursuant to section 3 of this act, but that are not currently reimbursed under the Medicaid rate setting system.

(2) The Commissioner of Health shall develop and implement a generic appeal process, under which any hospital may petition the Hospital Rate Setting Commission under the appropriate appeal option for the expeditious reimbursement of the fees imposed pursuant to section 3 of this act, to the extent that the fees are not currently reimbursed under the rate setting established by P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) or section 5 of P.L.1978, c.83 (C.26:2H-4.1), as the case may be.

L.1991,c.166,s.4.

13:1E-181.3. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Fund established

a. The Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Fund is established as a nonlapsing revolving fund in the Department of Environmental Protection. The fund shall be administered by the New Jersey Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Siting Board, and shall be credited with all fees collected pursuant to section 3 of this act. Moneys in the fund shall be used by the board, or the department, as the case may be, to implement the provisions of P.L.1987, c.333 (C.13:1E-177 et seq.), the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act," Pub.L.96-573 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.) and the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985," Pub.L.99-240 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.). The expenditure of moneys in the fund shall be subject to the approval of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury. In the event that the board ceases operation or that additional expenditures are not otherwise required, any moneys remaining in the fund shall be returned to generators in the same proportion in which the fees were assessed and paid.

b. The board shall cause an annual audit to be made of the fund and all expenditures of moneys from the fund. The audit shall include a determination of the extent to which the expenditures directly relate to costs incurred in the implementation of the relevant provisions of P.L.1987, c.333 (C.13:1E-177 et seq.), the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act," Pub.L.96-573 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.), and the "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985," Pub.L.99-240 (42 U.S.C. s.2021b et seq.), including, but not limited to, salaries and administrative expenses. Each annual audit shall be subject to review by the State Auditor, and shall be transmitted to the presiding officer of each House of the Legislature and to the respective chairpersons of the Senate Land Use Management and Regional Affairs Committee, the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, the Assembly Waste Management, Planning and Recycling Committee, the Assembly Energy and Environment Committee, and the Assembly Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, or their successors.

L.1991,c.166,s.5.

13:1E-182. New Jersey Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee

a. There is established in the department a New Jersey Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee, which will consist of 13 members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each of these members shall be appointed for a term of three years, provided that of the members of the committee first appointed by the Governor four shall serve for terms of one year, five shall serve for terms of two years, and four shall serve for terms of three years. Of these members, three shall be appointed from persons recommended by recognized environmental or public interest organizations; two from persons recommended by recognized organizations of municipal elected and appointed officials; two from persons recommended by recognized organizations of county elected and appointed officials; one from persons recommended by recognized community organizations; three from persons recommended by recognized organizations of industries which generate low-level radioactive waste; and two from the general public.

In the event that no recommendations for a particular category of membership are made to the Governor within 60 days of the effective date of this act in the case of the initial appointments, or within 60 days of the date of the expiration of the term of office of any member or the occurrence of any vacancy in the case of subsequent appointments, the Governor shall appoint as a member or members for that category of membership a person or persons whom he believes shall be representative thereof.

b. A majority of the membership of the committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of committee business. Action may be taken and motions and resolutions adopted by the committee by the affirmative vote of a majority of the full membership of the committee.

c. The committee shall meet regularly as it may determine, and shall also meet at the call of the chairman of the committee or any member of the commission.

d. The committee shall appoint a chairman from among its members and such other officers as may be necessary. The committee may, within the limits of any funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for this purpose, appoint such staff or hire such experts as it may require.

e. Members of the committee shall serve without compensation, but the committee may, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available for such purposes, reimburse its members for necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their official duties.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-183. Duties

The committee shall:

a. Advise the board concerning the regional management plan developed by the Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission pursuant to Article V of P.L.1983, c. 329 (C. 32:31-6) and the designation of a site or sites for a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility;

b. Advise the board concerning the preparation and adoption criteria for the siting of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility and make recommendations for action on application for the construction of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility; and,

c. Review all matters submitted to it by the board or the department and state its position on the matter within 30 days of the submission thereof.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-184. Other duties

The committee may:

a. Review any matter relating to the siting, construction, operation or closure of a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility and to transmit such recommendations to the board as it may deem appropriate;

b. Hold public meetings or hearings within this State on any matter related to the siting, construction, operation or closure of a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility; and

c. Call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of such employees of any State, county or municipal department, board, commission or agency as may be required and made available for such purposes.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-185. Criteria, guidelines for siting

a. The board shall, within nine months of the effective date of this act and after consultation with the committee, and review of the regional management plan developed by the Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission pursuant to Article V of P.L.1983, c. 329 (C. 32:31-6), develop and adopt criteria and guidelines for the siting of a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility. The criteria shall be designed to prevent any significant adverse public health, environmental or economic impact resulting from the location of a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility and the transportation of low-level radioactive waste thereto. These criteria shall specifically preclude the disposal of any low-level radioactive wastes in any facility which is not designed, constructed, and engineered so as to insure the effective isolation of these wastes from the biosphere for their hazardous lives. The criteria shall also specifically prohibit the siting of a facility in the Pinelands National Reserve as designated pursuant to section 502 of the "National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978" (16 U.S.C. s. 471i). In order to preserve the public health and safety and the integrity of the environment, and to insure the isolation of low-level radioactive waste from human contact, the board, in developing siting criteria and guidelines, shall consider the potential effects of the various disposal technologies on the demography, soil characteristics, geology, hydrology, and natural resources of all the areas of the State, taking into account the volume, types, and hazardous life of the wastes prospectively to be disposed at the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility. These criteria shall preclude, to the greatest extent practicable and feasible, but within the limits of federal law, the disposal of low-level radioactive waste by means of shallow land burial.

b. The provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410 (C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), or any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, the board shall develop and adopt criteria for the siting of a regional low-level radioactive waste facility as follows:

(1) Within three months of the effective date of this act, the board shall prepare and make available to all interested persons preliminary criteria for the siting of a regional low-level radioactive waste facility;

(2) Within six months of the effective date of this act, the board shall conduct public meetings on preliminary criteria in the several geographic areas of this State. Notice of these meetings shall be published, at least 30 days in advance thereof, in at least two newspapers circulating in the specific geographic area where the meeting will be held. Notice of these meetings shall also be transmitted, at least 30 days in advance thereof, to every municipal clerk and environmental commission within the specified geographic area where the meeting will be held;

(3) Within seven months of the effective date of this act, the board shall consider and evaluate any comments made at the public meetings, make such revisions to the preliminary criteria as it deems necessary or appropriate, and schedule a public hearing on the revised criteria. Notice of this hearing shall be published, at least 30 days in advance thereof, in at least four newspapers of general circulation in this State;

(4) Within eight months of the effective date of this act, the board shall conduct the public hearing on the revised criteria; and

(5) Within nine months of the effective date of this act, the board shall consider and evaluate any comments made at the public hearing, make such changes to the revised criteria as it deems necessary or appropriate, and adopt final criteria for the siting of a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-186. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Plan

a. The board shall, within 15 months of the effective date of this act and after consultation with the committee and review of the regional management plan developed by the Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission pursuant to Article V of P.L.1983, c. 329 (C. 32:31-6), develop and adopt a Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Plan. The plan shall be revised and updated every three years, or more frequently when, in the discretion of the board, changes in the amount or type of low-level radioactive waste generated in the region, or technological advances in the means of managing, storing, transporting, or disposing of low-level radioactive waste, so require.

b. The plan shall include, but need not be limited to:

(1) A current inventory of all low-level radioactive waste generators within the region;

(2) A current inventory of the sources, volumes, types, and hazardous life of the low-level radioactive wastes generated within the region;

(3) Projections of the volumes, types, and hazardous life of the low-level radioactive wastes which are expected to be generated in the region during the next 20 years;

(4) A technical analysis of all the known methods of disposal of low-level radioactive waste, which shall evaluate their respective capacities to effectively isolate low-level radioactive wastes from the biosphere; and

(5) An analysis of transportation routes and transportation costs from low-level radioactive waste generators in the region to the various areas of the State;

(6) An analysis of the waste stream generated by the party states with respect to the commercial viability of a site located in this State.

c. The provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410ˆ(C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), or any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, the board shall prepare and adopt the plan as follows:

(1) Within 11 months of the effective date of this act, the board shall prepare and make available to all interested persons a proposed plan;

(2) Within 14 months of the effective date of this act, the board shall conduct public hearings in the several geographic areas of the State on the proposed plan. Notice of these hearings shall be published at least 30 days in advance thereof in at least two newspapers circulating in the specific geographic area where the hearing will be held; and

(3) Within 15 months of the effective date of this act, the board shall consider any comments made at the public hearings, make such revisions to the proposed plan as it deems necessary or appropriate, and adopt the plan.

d. Within 90 days of the effective date of this act, the board shall, in consultation with the department and the committee, establish a public information program which addresses:

(1) The nature and dimension of the low-level radioactive waste disposal problem;

(2) The need for the proper and expeditious siting of a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility;

(3) The respective responsibilities of the board, department and committee pursuant to this act; and

(4) The necessity and opportunities for public participation as provided herein.

e. In preparing or revising the plan pursuant to this section, the board may direct that the department provide or prepare any data or other information which the board deems necessary for the performance of its responsibilities pursuant to this act.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-187. Designation of site

a. The board shall, in conformity with the siting criteria adopted pursuant to section 9 of this act and the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Plan adopted pursuant to section 10 of this act, and after consultation with the committee, designate a site or sites for the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility.

The provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410 (C. 52:14B-1 et seq.) or any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, this site or sites shall be proposed and designated in the following manner:

(1) Within 18 months of the effective date of this act, or of the adoption of the siting criteria and the plan, whichever is sooner, the board shall propose a site or sites for the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility, transmit written notice thereof, by certified mail, to the governing body, board of health, planning board and environmental commission of the affected municipality, and the governing body, planning board, and county health department of the affected county, and provide the governing body of the municipality with a grant, pursuant to the provisions of subsection d. of this section, to conduct a site suitability study of the proposed site;

(2) Within three months of the receipt of a grant from the board, the governing body of the affected municipality shall complete and transmit to the board a site suitability study on the proposed site;

(3) Within 30 days of the receipt by the board municipal site suitability study, an adjudicatory hearing concerning the proposed site shall be conducted by an administrative law judge. The affected municipality shall be a party of interest to the hearing, and shall have the right to present testimony and cross-examine witnesses. Intervention in this hearing by any other person shall be as provided by the "Administrative Procedure Act;"

(4) Within 30 days of the close of the hearing, the administrative law judge shall transmit his recommendations for action on the proposed site to the board. The judge shall not favorably recommend the proposed site as suitable for the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility unless he finds clear and convincing evidence that locating the facility at the proposed site will not constitute a threat to the public health, safety and welfare of the affected municipality; and,

(5) Within 30 days of the receipt thereof, the board shall affirm, conditionally affirm or reject the recommendations of the administrative law judge and adopt or withdraw the proposed site. The action by the commission shall be based upon the potential for significant impairment of the environment or the public health, shall be considered to be final agency action thereon for the purposes of the "Administrative Procedure Act," and shall be subject only to judicial review as provided in the Rules of Court.

b. The board may propose alternate or additional sites for the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in the event the initially proposed site is determined to be unsuitable.

c. The board may, upon its own motion or at the request of a governing body of any affected municipality, repeal or withdraw the proposed site if, in the discretion of the board, such action is consistent with the purposes and provisions of this act.

d. The board shall make grants to a municipality for conducting a site suitability study of a proposed site for the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility, pursuant to this section, from any State, federal commission, or other funds which may be appropriated or otherwise made available to it for this purpose.

e. In the event that any site proposed by the board pursuant to this section is located in more than one municipality, the notices required herein shall be transmitted to each affected municipality or agency thereof, the grant awarded for the municipal site suitability study shall be made to all of the affected municipalities, the site suitability study shall be conducted jointly by all of the affected municipalities, and all of the affected municipalities shall be considered a single party for the purposes of the adjudicatory hearing held pursuant to this section.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-188. Liability

The owner or operator of the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility shall be jointly and severally strictly liable, without regard to fault, for:

a. All direct and indirect damages, no matter by whom sustained, proximately resulting from the operations or closure of the facility, including any personal injuries or medical expenses incurred as a result thereof; and

b. The cleanup and removal of any discharge of radioactivity in violation of any state or federal law or policy.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-189. Disclosure statement; negotiations

13. a. A person proposing to own or operate a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility shall submit a disclosure statement pursuant to, and shall be otherwise subject to, within the limits of federal law, the provisions of P.L.1983, c.392 (C.13:1E-126 et al.).

b. The owner or operator of the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility who has received a license pursuant to federal law shall enter into negotiations with the host municipality concerning such issues as the two parties have identified as potential conflicts. These negotiations shall be mediated by a representative of the Office of Dispute Settlement in the Office of the Public Defender in a manner consistent with the practices and procedures of the Office of Dispute Settlement.

c. The owner or operator of the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility who has received a license pursuant to federal law may construct and operate that facility without regard to any local zoning ordinance, and the use shall not be required to be submitted to or approved by any county or municipal governing body, zoning, or planning board or other agency, except as otherwise expressly provided herein. The board, department, county, or municipality shall conduct inspections during construction.

L.1987,c.333,s.13; amended 1994,c.58,s.42.

13:1E-190. Regular inspections; penalties for violations

a. The department and the local board of health or county health department, as the case may be, shall conduct regular inspections of the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in order to determine compliance with the provisions of the engineering design for the facility and of all relevant federal or State laws, and any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. These inspections shall be conducted by the appropriate health or code enforcement official, as the case may be, shall commence with the commencement of construction of such facility, and shall continue for 30 years following the closure thereof. Prior to the commencement of operation of the facility, the department in conjunction with the Department of Health, shall provide for the training of local or county health personnel to conduct the inspections required pursuant to this section.

b. In the event that any inspection of the facility discloses a violation of any law or rule and regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the department and the local board of health or the county health department, as the case may be, may institute an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive relief to restrain the violation and for such other relief as the court shall deem proper. The court may proceed in such action in a summary manner. Neither the institution of such action nor any of the proceedings therein shall relieve any party to the proceedings from other fines or penalties prescribed by law for the violation. One-half of any penalty imposed upon the owner or operator of the facility as the result of a violation disclosed in any municipal or county inspection thereof shall, the provisions of any law to the contrary notwithstanding, be awarded to the local board of health or county health department as the case may be, which conducted the inspection. If more than one agency is involved, this sum will be apportioned equally among the agencies involved.

c. The department, in consultation with the board shall conduct or cause to be conducted a training program for municipal or county officials performing inspections of the facility pursuant to this section.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-191. Award for information

a. Any person who supplies any information which proximately results in the arrest and conviction of any other person for the illegal treatment, storage or disposal of low-level radioactive waste shall be awarded one-half of any penalty collected as a result thereof.

b. The Attorney General shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410 (C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement this section.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-192. Evidence of financial responsibility; post-closure maintenance, observation

a. The board shall require the owner or operator of the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility to provide evidence of financial responsibility for the duration of the operation of the facility and establish a mechanism to defray closing costs and post-closure monitoring expenses for such period of time as may be deemed necessary by the board, whether by escrow accounts, performance bonds or otherwise.

b. The department shall ensure post-closure observation and maintenance for a period of five years.

c. After the post-closure period, and after a finding of satisfactory disposal site closure, the license of the facility will transfer to the State or to the federal government.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-193. Taxation as real property

17. a. The regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility shall, for the purposes of local property taxation, be assessed and taxed in the same manner as other real property.

In the event that the facility is constructed or operated on a site which is exempt from local property taxation by virtue of the ownership thereof by any public agency, the owner or operator of the facility shall, the provisions of any law, rule, regulation, ordinance, resolution or contract to the contrary notwithstanding, annually pay to the affected municipality a sum equal to the amount which would annually be due if the land on which the facility is located and any improvements thereto were assessed and taxed as real property subject to local property taxation. These payments shall be made to the chief fiscal officer of the affected municipality by December 31 of each year.

b. Subsequent to the effective date of this act, the owner or operator of the facility shall, on or before January 25 of each year, file with the chief fiscal officer of the municipality wherein the facility is located a statement, verified by oath, showing the gross receipts from all charges imposed during the preceding calendar year upon any person for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste at the facility, and shall at the same time pay to the chief fiscal officer a sum equal to 5% of those receipts.

c. All moneys received by any municipality pursuant to this section shall be appropriated and utilized for the following purposes:

(1) Extra police or fire costs, whether for salaries, equipment, or administrative expenses, which were necessitated by the operations of the facility;

(2) Any local inspection program costs incurred by the local board of health or the county health department, as the case may be, provided that the program is performed pursuant to the provisions of this act and any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto;

(3) Road construction or repair costs necessitated by the transportation of low-level radioactive waste through the municipality to the facility; and

(4) Other expenses directly related to the impact of the facility on the municipality.

Any appropriation made for an expenditure covered under this subsection shall, for the purposes of P.L.1976, c.68 (C.40A:4-45.1 et seq.), be considered as an expenditure mandated by State law.

d. The municipality in which the facility is located may petition the board for approval to collect an amount in excess of the amount prescribed in subsection b. of this section. The board, after affording the affected owner or operator with notice of this petition and an opportunity to be heard thereon, may grant the petition, but only if the board is satisfied that the grant is warranted by the expenses imposed upon the municipality as a result of the operation of the facility.

e. The board may, upon the petition of the affected owner or operator or upon its own motion, direct that the amount to be paid pursuant to subsection b. of this section be reduced to a lower percentage if, after affording the affected municipality notice of the petition or board intent to decrease the amount and an opportunity to be heard thereon, the board finds that the lower amount is sufficient to cover the expenses imposed upon the municipality as a result of the operation of the facility.

f. The municipality in which the facility is located shall not be required to be the host municipality site for a major hazardous waste facility sited pursuant to P.L.1981, c.279 (C.13:1E-49 et seq.), and no municipality which is the host municipality site for a major hazardous waste facility as defined in section 3 of P.L.1981, c.279 (C.13:1E-51) shall be required to be the host municipality site for a regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility sited pursuant to the provisions of this act.

g. The board may offer financial or other incentives to the host municipality as may be made available to it by the operator or the State.

h. Any board action taken pursuant to subsection d. or e. of this section shall be considered to be the final agency action thereon for the purposes of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), and shall be subject only to judicial review as provided in the Rules of Court.

L.1987,c.333,s.17; amended 1992,c.97,s.1.

13:1E-194. Land acquisition, conveyance powers; conditions

a. In addition to the other powers conferred by this act, the board may acquire, in the name of the State, by purchase or otherwise, in accordance with the terms and conditions and in the manner it deems proper, by the exercise of the power of eminent domain as hereinafter provided, and to lease, sell, or otherwise convey, any land and other property which it may determine is reasonably necessary for the regional low-level radioactive waste disposal facility or for the relocation or reconstruction of any highway by the board and any and all rights, title, interest or option in that land and other property, including public lands, highways or parkways, owned by or in which the State or any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the State has any right, title or interest, or parts thereof or rights therein and any fee simple absolute or any lesser interest in private property, and any fee simple absolute in, easements upon, or the benefit of restrictions upon, abutting property for the purposes of this act.

b. Notwithstanding its land acquisition and conveyance powers provided in subsection a. of this section, the board shall not implement those powers with respect to any land or interest therein unless:

(1) The site on which the facility would be constructed has been adopted by the board pursuant to the provisions of this act;

(2) The prospective owner or operator has sought to obtain the land or any interest therein from the owner thereof in good faith bargaining; and

(3) The prospective owner or operator has already obtained the approval of the board for the license for the facility to be constructed on the land.

c. Upon the exercise of the power of eminent domain by the board, the compensation to be paid thereunder shall be ascertained and paid in the manner provided in the "Eminent Domain Act of 1971," P.L.1971, c. 361 (C. 20:3-1 et seq.), and the board may file with the clerk of the Superior Court a declaration of taking in the manner provided in that act.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-195. Conflict of interest; penalty

a. No member, officer, employee, or agent of the board shall take any official action on any matter in which he has a direct or indirect financial interest.

b. Any board action taken or approval granted in violation of this section is voidable.

c. Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this section shall forfeit his office or employment and is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-196. Annual audit

The State Auditor shall conduct an annual audit of the board's activities pursuant to the provisions of chapter 24 of Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-197. Annual report

On or before March 31 in each year the board shall make an annual report of its activities for the preceding calendar year to the Governor and to the Legislature. Each report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering its operations during the year.

L. 1987,c.333

13:1E-198. Rules, regulations

The board and the department shall, pursuant to the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410 (C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the performance of their respective responsibilities pursuant to this act.

L. 1987,c.333


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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402