State of New Jersey
Executive Order #8

Governor James J. Florio

WHEREAS, the amount of solid waste that will need to be disposed of can be reduced through such environmentally safe and economically sound methods as source reduction and reuse techniques, recycling and composting; and

WHEREAS, the Solid Waste Management Act, N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq. ("Act"), mandates maximum practicable use of source reduction and reuse techniques, recycling and composting; and

WHEREAS, proper solid waste disposal and recycling programs contribute to solving energy, environmental and economic problems; and

WHEREAS, the lack of coordinated Statewide planning and management has led to insufficient disposal capacity within the State and forced several counties to send their solid waste to out-of-state disposal facilities at great cost and questionable reliability; and

WHEREAS, source reduction, reuse, recycling and composting efforts reduce demand for solid waste disposal facilities and, conversely, waste-to-energy resource recovery facilities discourage the maximum use of other recycling activities; and

WHEREAS, planning and construction of waste-to-energy resource recovery facilities require substantial capital expenditures and a guaranteed flow of processible and combustible waste; and

WHEREAS, source reduction, reuse, recycling and composting must be increased before proceeding with further development of waste-to-energy resource recovery facilities; and

WHEREAS, each county and the Hackensack Meadowlands District currently constitute a solid waste management district ("District") authorized to act independently or in combination with other Districts to plan for the disposal of solid waste; and

WHEREAS, cooperative arrangements among Districts could limit the number of solid waste facilities and result in benefits to the citizens of the State; and

WHEREAS, 12 waste-to-energy resource recovery facilities are currently in the planning, engineering, design or environmental review stages and have not received final approval of solid waste facility engineering designs or begun construction or operation; and

WHEREAS, a sensible plan for dealing with the State's solid waste problem can be achieved by maximizing the use of source reduction and reuse techniques, recycling, composting and other environmentally sound methods for dealing with solid waste, by reassessing those waste-to-energy facilities that are currently being developed or are operating in this State;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES J. FLORIO, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in my by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. An Emergency Solid Waste Assessment Task Force ("Task Force") is hereby established, which shall consist of 15 members to be appointed by the Governor as follows:

a. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection who shall serve as the Chairperson;

b. The President of the Board of Public Utilities or his designee;

c. The Commissioner of Community Affairs or his designee;

d. The Attorney General or his designee;

e. The State Treasurer or his designee;

f. One representative for the Governor's Office;

g. Two representatives of local or county governments;

h. Four representatives of environmental groups;

i. One representative with experience in waste-to-energy resource recovery; and

j. Two representatives with experience in recycling.

2. The Task Force shall:

a. Estimate the quantity and characteristics of the waste stream for each District;

b. Identify and evaluate specific methods for reducing the amount of solid waste produced and for increasing reuse, recycling and composting of solid waste; determine what percentage of the solid waste stream can be eliminated by source reduction and reuse techniques, recycling or composting and when such percentages can be achieved;

c. Review current and projected solid waste disposal needs of the Districts for the next 20 years and evaluate existing landfill capacity;

d. Evaluate the environmental, health, safety and financial impacts of source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, landfills and waste-to-energy resource recovery facilities; determine whether regionalized facilities would result in net benefits to the citizens of the State, and evaluate the impact on individual Districts;

e. Prepare a preliminary report indicating the amount of solid waste expected to be produced in New Jersey over the next 20 years, the amount that can be eliminated through source reduction, the amount that can be reused, recycled or composted, and the amount that must be disposed of by landfilling and waste-to-energy and other resource recovery methods; and

f. Take public comment, including hearings, on the preliminary report.

3. Within 120 days of the date of this Order, the Task Force shall submit recommendations to the Governor on the following:

a. A program to minimize the generation of solid waste and maximize reuse, recycling and composting. This program should specifically identify the percentages of waste which can be removed from the solid waste stream by reuse, recycling and composting and propose a schedule for these reductions in the waste stream;

b. Alternatives for the disposal of solid waste that cannot be removed from the waste stream through source reduction and

c. The benefits of and a process for regionalizing solid waste disposal facilities where appropriate;

d. The need for revision of environmental or other standards for resource recovery or other solid waste disposal facilities; and

e. Legislative and regulatory changes which are necessary to achieve the Task Force's recommendations.

4. During the Task Force's deliberations over the next 120 days, the following shall apply:

a. The Department of Environmental Protection shall not issue a final approval of any solid waste management plan that sites increases the capacity of or approves financing for waste-to-energy resource recovery facilities;

b. The Department of Environmental Protection shall not issue a approval of Preliminary or Final Environmental and Health Impact Statements for any waste-to-energy resource recovery site or facility;

c. The Department of Environmental Protection shall not issue tentative or final approval of any solid waste facility engineering design now pending or hereafter submitted for any waste-to-energy resource recovery facilities;

d. The Department of Environmental Protection, the Board of Public Utilities and the Division of Local Government Services within the Department of Community Affairs shall not, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 13:1E-136 et seq., issue any approval or conditional approval of any previously submitted proposed contract for the design, financing, construction, operation or maintenance of a waste-to-energy resource recovery facility; and

e. No State agency, commission or organization shall approve the issuance of debt or extend financing to any person or entity for use in planning, designing, acquiring, constructing, operating or maintaining a waste-to-energy resource recovery facility.

5. The Task Force is authorized to call upon any department, office, division or agency of this State to supply it with data and any other information, personnel or assistance it deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, office, division or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate with the Task Force and furnish it with such information, personnel and assistance as is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this Order. The Attorney General shall act as legal counsel to the Task Force.

6. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 6th day of April in the Year of
Our Lord, one thousand nine hundred
and ninety, and of the Independence
of the United States, the two hundred
and fourteenth.

/s/ James J. Florio


/s/ John A. Sweeney
Counsel to the Governor