Effective retroactively to January 1, 2004, P.L. 2004, c. 51 imposes an air toxics surcharge upon the owner or operator of each “facility”. For purposes of this law, “facility” means that building, equipment and contiguous area at a single location used for the conduct of business and for which the owner or operator is required to submit a release and pollution prevention report as per the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The surcharge shall be based on the annual emissions of each Category 2 toxic substance, Category 3 toxic substance and Category 4 toxic substance as reported in the release and pollution prevention report. The air toxics surcharge due in a calendar year shall be based upon the data reported in the release and pollution prevention report for emissions that occurred two calendar years prior to the year for which the return is filed. The return is due annually on or before March 15. Each owner or operator of a facility subject to the air toxics surcharge must register with the Division of Taxation. Registration forms will be sent to all facilities within the next few months. The first return for the 2004 calendar year will be due on March 15,2005
. The air toxics surcharge shall be assessed as follows:
- $0.10 shall be assessed for each pound of Category 2 toxic substances released as stock or fugitive emissions as reported on the release and pollution prevention report. $1.00 shall be assessed for each pound of Category 3 toxic substances released as stock or fugitive emissions as reported on the release and pollution prevention report.
- $10.00 shall be assessed for each pound of Category 4 toxic substances released as stock or fugitive emissions as reported on the release and pollution prevention report.
The law caps the surcharge at $500,000. Chapter 51 also provides for a credit for the air toxics surcharge remitted by any owner or operator of a facility required to remit an air toxics surcharge pursuant to this law:
- 50% provided that the owner or operator certifies that the total actual emissions to the atmosphere of mercury from that facility for the calendar year two years prior to the calendar year for which the return is filed is equal to or less than the numerical limits on mercury emissions from operation at the facility set by the DEP for mercury in rules and regulations adopted after the date of enactment of this act; 50% provided that the owner or operator has installed, uses and properly maintains selective catalytic reduction equipment or a scrubber, or other particulate control technology with similar benefits to selective catalytic reduction equipment or scrubbers, permitted by the DEP to reduce air emissions; and
- annually, for up to ten years, up to a maximum of 5% of the purchase price, excluding interest or financing costs (not to exceed 50% of the total surcharge remitted for that calendar year), of any control equipment purchased or installed in 2002 and thereafter. The equipment must be used exclusively within the State at the facility for which the return is filed where the owner or operator of the facility has received a certification from the DEP that use of the control equipment will result in the reduction or prevention of emissions of toxic substances to the atmosphere and certifies himself that the control equipment has been fully functional and properly maintained.
The owner or operator may request the certification described above from the DEP upon application for a permit to construct, reconstruct, install or modify air pollution control equipment. The credit shall become effective for the calendar year in which the certification has been granted.
Two million dollars of those funds which are collected as a result of the air toxics surcharge shall be credited to the “Nuclear Power Plant Security Fund” to provide or enhance security at nuclear power plants in this State. Please see the attached Air Toxics Surcharge Toxic Substances List
for a listing of toxic substances within Categories 2, 3 and 4. For further information regarding the Air Toxics Surcharge, contact the Customer Service Center at (609) 943-5000. For non-tax inquiries, contact: Kenneth Ratzman, Office of Pollution Prevention and Right to Know, 401 E. State Street, PO Box 423, Trenton, NJ 08625-0423, via telephone at (609) 777-0518, fax at (609) 292-1816.