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Environmental Crime

New Jersey Environmental Crimes Attorneys

Environmental Crimes are prosecuted vigorously by the Environmental Crimes Bureau of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement agencies. In New Jersey, there are numerous Environmental Crimes statutes (listed below) that punish Water Pollution, Air Pollution, Wetlands Pollution, Illegal Dumping and the mishandling of Hazardous Waste, Regulated Medical Waste and Solid Waste. Business entities are frequent defendant’s in these cases and a conviction can have very serious consequences for the company, the company’s officers and customers. Our team of tough, smart New Jersey environmental crimes attorneys have the experience and dedication to defend you and your company against any environmental crime. From Newark to Trenton, Jersey City to Atlantic City, we will represent you in any court in New Jersey.

With an office in New Brunswick, our defense attorneys are easy to reach from anywhere in New Jersey.

New Jersey Water Pollution Defense Attorneys

N.J.S.A. 58:10A-10

f. (1)(a) Any person who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly violates this act, and the violation causes a significant adverse environmental effect, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the second degree, and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not less than $ 25,000 nor more than $ 250,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment, or by both.

(b) As used in this paragraph, a significant adverse environmental effect exists when an action or omission of the defendant causes: serious harm or damage to wildlife, freshwater or saltwater fish, any other aquatic or marine life, water fowl, or to their habitats, or to livestock, or agricultural crops; serious harm, or degradation of, any ground or surface waters used for drinking, agricultural, navigational, recreational, or industrial purposes; or any other serious articulable harm or damage to, or degradation of, the lands or waters of the State, including ocean waters subject to its jurisdiction pursuant to P.L.1988, c.61 (C.58:10A-47 et seq.).

(2) Any person who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly violates this act, including making a false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, or other document filed or required to be maintained under this act, or by falsifying, tampering with, or rendering inaccurate any monitoring device or method required to be maintained pursuant to this act, or by failing to submit a monitoring report, or any portion thereof, required pursuant to this act, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the third degree, and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not less than $ 5,000 nor more than $ 75,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment, or by both.

(3) Any person who negligently violates this act, including making a false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, or other document filed or required to be maintained under this act, or by falsifying, tampering with, or rendering inaccurate any monitoring device or method required to be maintained pursuant to this act, or by failing to submit a discharge monitoring report, or any portion thereof, required pursuant to this act, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not less than $ 5,000 nor more than $ 50,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment, or by both.

(4) Any person who purposely or knowingly violates an effluent limitation or other condition of a permit, or who discharges without a permit, and who knows at that time that he thereby places another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury, as defined in subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:11-1, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the first degree, and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, be subject of a fine of not less than $ 50,000 nor more than $ 250,000, or, in the case of a corporation, a fine of not less than $ 200,000 nor more than $ 1,000,000, or by imprisonment or by both.

§ 58:10A-49. Crime of 3rd degree; penalty; reward

a. A person who intentionally dumps any material into the ocean waters within the jurisdiction of this State, or into the waters outside the jurisdiction of this State, which material enters the ocean waters within the jurisdiction of this State, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

Our team of tough, smart New Jersey environmental crimes attorneys have the experience and dedication to defend you and your company against charges of illegal dumping, pollution or any environmental crime in any court in NJ. With an office in New Brunswick, our defense attorneys are easy to reach from anywhere in New Jersey.

New Jersey Hazardous Waste Defense Attorneys

§ 2C:17-2. Causing or risking widespread injury or damage

a. (1) A person who, purposely or knowingly, unlawfully causes an explosion, flood, avalanche, collapse of a building, release or abandonment of poison gas, radioactive material or any other harmful or destructive substance commits a crime of the second degree. A person who, purposely or knowingly, unlawfully causes widespread injury or damage in any manner commits a crime of the second degree.

(2) A person who, purposely or knowingly, unlawfully causes a hazardous discharge required to be reported pursuant to the “Spill Compensation and Control Act,” P.L. 1976, c. 141 (C. 58:10-23.11 et seq.) or any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, or who, purposely or knowingly, unlawfully causes a release or abandonment of hazardous waste as defined in section 1 of P.L. 1976, c. 99 (C. 13:1E-38) or a toxic pollutant as defined in section 3 of P.L. 1977, c. 74 (C. 58:10A-3) commits a crime of the second degree. Any person who recklessly violates the provisions of this paragraph is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

b. A person who recklessly causes widespread injury or damage is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

c. A person who recklessly creates a risk of widespread injury or damage commits a crime of the fourth degree, even if no such injury or damage occurs. A violation of this subsection is a crime of the third degree if the risk of widespread injury or damage results from the reckless handling or storage of hazardous materials. A violation of this subsection is a crime of the second degree if the handling or storage of hazardous materials violated any law, rule or regulation intended to protect the public health and safety.

d. A person who knowingly or recklessly fails to take reasonable measures to prevent or mitigate widespread injury or damage commits a crime of the fourth degree, if:

(1) He knows that he is under an official, contractual or other legal duty to take such measures; or

(2) He did or assented to the act causing or threatening the injury or damage.

e. For purposes of this section, widespread injury or damage means serious bodily injury to five or more people or damage to five or more habitations or to a building which would normally have contained 25 or more persons at the time of the offense.

N.J.S.A. 13:1E-9

g. Any person who knowingly:

(1) Transports any hazardous waste to a facility or any other place which does not have authorization from the department to accept such waste;

(2) Generates and causes or permits to be transported any hazardous waste to a facility or any other place which does not have authorization from the department to accept such waste; (3) Disposes, treats, stores or transports hazardous waste without authorization from the department;

(4) Makes any false or misleading statement to any person who prepares any hazardous waste application, label, manifest, record, report, design or other document required to be submitted to the department; or

(5) Makes any false or misleading statement on any hazardous waste application, label, manifest, record, report, design or other document required to be submitted to the department shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the third degree and, notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $ 50,000.00 for the first offense and not more than $ 100,000.00 for the second and each subsequent offense and restitution, in addition to any other appropriate disposition authorized by subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-2.

h. Any person who recklessly:

(1) Transports any hazardous waste to a facility or any other place which does not have authorization from the department to accept such waste;

(2) Generates and causes or permits to be transported any hazardous waste to a facility or any other place which does not have authorization from the department to accept such waste;

(3) Disposes, treats, stores or transports hazardous waste without authorization from the department;

(4) Makes any false or misleading statement to any person who prepares any hazardous waste application, label, manifest, record, report, design or other document required to be submitted to the department; or

(5) Makes any false or misleading statement on any hazardous waste application, label, manifest, record, report, design or other document required to be submitted to the department, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

i. Any person who, regardless of intent, generates and causes or permits any hazardous waste to be transported, transports, or receives transported hazardous waste without completing and submitting to the department a hazardous waste manifest in accordance with the provisions of this act or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant hereto shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

Our team of tough, smart New Jersey environmental crimes attorneys have the experience and dedication to defend you and your company against charges of illegal dumping, pollution or any environmental crime in any court in NJ. With an office in New Brunswick,, our defense attorneys are easy to reach from anywhere in New Jersey.

New Jersey Medical Waste Defense Attorneys

N.J.S.A. 13:1E-48.20

g. A person who purposely or knowingly:

(1) disposes or stores regulated medical waste without authorization from either the Department of Environmental Protection or the Department of Health and Senior Services, as appropriate, or in violation of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto;

(2) makes any false or misleading statement to any person who prepares any regulated medical waste application, registration, form, label, certification, manifest, record, report, or other document required by this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto;

(3) makes any false or misleading statement on any regulated medical waste application, registration, form, label, certification, manifest, record, report, or other document required by this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto; or

(4) fails to properly treat certain types of regulated medical waste designated by the Department of Health and Senior Services in a prescribed manner; shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the third degree and, notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $ 50,000 for the first offense, and not more than $ 100,000 for each subsequent offense, and restitution, in addition to any other appropriate disposition authorized by subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-2.

h. A person who recklessly or negligently:

(1) disposes or stores regulated medical waste without authorization from either the Department of Environmental Protection or the Department of Health and Senior Services, as appropriate, or in violation of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto;

(2) makes any false or misleading statement to any person who prepares any regulated medical waste application, registration, form, label, certification, manifest, record, report, or other document required by this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto;

(3) makes any false or misleading statement on any regulated medical waste application, registration, form, label, certification, manifest, record, report, or other document required by this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto; or

(4) fails to properly treat certain types of regulated medical waste designated by the Department of Health and Senior Services in a manner prescribed thereby; shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

i. A person who, regardless of intent:

(1) transports any regulated medical waste to a facility or any other place in the State that does not have authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Public Utilities to accept such waste, or in violation of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto; or

(2) transports, or receives transported, regulated medical waste without completing and submitting a manifest in accordance with this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto; shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

j. A person who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly:

(1) generates and causes or permits to be transported any regulated medical waste to a facility or any other place in the State that does not have authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Public Utilities to accept such waste, or in violation of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto; or

(2) violates any other provision of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, for which no other criminal penalty has been specifically provided for; shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

New Jersey Freshwater Pollution Defense Attorney

N.J.S.A. 13:9B-21

f. A person who purposely, knowingly or recklessly violates any provision of P.L.1987, c.156, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a crime of the third degree and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not less than $ 5,000 nor more than $ 50,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment, or both. A person who purposely, knowingly or recklessly makes a false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, or other document filed or required to be maintained under any provision of P.L.1987, c.156, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, or who falsifies, tampers with or purposely, knowingly or recklessly renders inaccurate, any monitoring device or method required to be maintained pursuant to P.L.1987, c.156, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a crime of the third degree and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not more than $ 50,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment, or both.

Our team of tough, smart New Jersey environmental crimes attorneys have the experience and dedication to defend you and your company against charges of illegal dumping, pollution or any environmental crime in any court in NJ. With an office in New Brunswick,, our defense attorneys are easy to reach from anywhere in New Jersey.

New Jersey Solid Waste Defense Attorney

N.J.S.A. 13:1E-9.3

a. No person shall, regardless of intent, engage, or be permitted to engage, in the disposal of solid waste in excess of 0.148 cubic yards of solids or 30 United States gallons of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, except at a solid waste facility or an out-of-State disposal site which has authorization from the appropriate state regulatory agency having jurisdiction over solid waste management to accept solid waste for disposal, or any other place in this State which has authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection to accept solid waste for disposal, as the case may be.

b. No person shall, regardless of intent, transport or cause or permit to be transported any solid waste in excess of 0.148 cubic yards of solids or 30 United States gallons of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, except to a solid waste facility or an out-of-state disposal site which has authorization from the appropriate state regulatory agency having jurisdiction over solid waste management to accept solid waste for disposal, or to any other place in this State which has authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection to accept solid waste for disposal, as the case may be.

c. No person shall, regardless of intent, cause, engage in or be permitted to engage in, the disposal of any amount of solid waste on real property subject to the use, control or ownership of a railroad company, unless such disposal is expressly authorized by the railroad company and approved by the Department of Environmental Protection.

§ 13:1E-9.6. Solid waste disposal offenses, degree of crime, penalties

a. A person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if that person knowingly:

(1) disposes of solid waste, or causes or permits the disposal of solid waste, or otherwise engages in the disposal of solid waste within this State in the amount of 1,000 cubic yards or more of solids or 10,000 United States gallons or more of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, except at a solid waste facility which has received approval from the department pursuant to section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 (C. 13:1E-5) or any other place in this State which has authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection to accept solid waste for disposal, as the case may be; or

(2) transports or causes or permits to be transported any solid waste in the amount of 1,000 cubic yards or more of solids or 10,000 United States gallons or more of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, to a disposal site within this State which does not have approval from the department pursuant to section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 (C. 13:1E-5) to accept solid waste for disposal.

b. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if that person:

(1) recklessly disposes of solid waste, or causes or permits the disposal of solid waste, or otherwise engages in the disposal of solid waste within this State in the amount of 100 cubic yards or more of solids or 1,000 United States gallons or more of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, except at a solid waste facility which has received approval from the department pursuant to section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 (C. 13:1E-5) or any other place in this State which has authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection to accept solid waste for disposal, as the case may be; or

(2) recklessly transports or causes or permits to be transported any solid waste in the amount of 100 cubic yards or more of solids or 1,000 United States gallons or more of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, to a disposal site within this State which does not have approval from the department pursuant to section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 (C. 13:1E-5) to accept solid waste for disposal; or

(3) knowingly disposes of solid waste, or causes or permits the disposal of solid waste, or otherwise engages in the disposal of solid waste within this State in an amount of at least 10 but less than 100 cubic yards of solids or an amount of at least 250 but less than 1,000 United States gallons of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, except at a solid waste facility which has received approval from the department pursuant to section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 (C. 13:1E-5) or any other place in this State which has authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection to accept solid waste for disposal, as the case may be; or

(4) knowingly transports or causes or permits to be transported any solid waste in an amount of at least 10 but less than 100 cubic yards of solids or an amount of at least 250 but less than 1,000 United States gallons of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, to a disposal site within this State which does not have approval from the department pursuant to section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 (C. 13:1E-5) to accept solid waste for disposal.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 50,000 may be imposed for a violation of this subsection.

c. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if that person recklessly:

(1) disposes of solid waste, or causes or permits the disposal of solid waste, or otherwise engages in the disposal of solid waste within this State in an amount of at least 10 but less than 100 cubic yards of solids or an amount of at least 250 but less than 1,000 United States gallons of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, except at a solid waste facility which has received approval from the department pursuant to section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 (C. 13:1E-5) or any other place in this State which has authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection to accept solid waste for disposal, as the case may be; or

(2) transports or causes or permits to be transported any solid waste in an amount of at least 10 but less than 100 cubic yards of solids or an amount of at least 250 but less than 1,000 United States gallons of liquids, whether for profit or otherwise, to a disposal site within this State which does not have approval from the department pursuant to section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 (C. 13:1E-5) to accept solid waste for disposal.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 25,000 may be imposed for a violation of this subsection.

d. A person who knowingly or recklessly engages in the collection of solid waste, whether for profit or otherwise, in violation of the requirements of section 5 of P.L. 1970, c. 39 ( C. 13:1E-5), is guilty of an offense.

It is a crime of the third degree if the amount of solid waste collected is in the amount of 100 cubic yards or more of solids or 1,000 United States gallons or more of liquids, and it is a crime of the fourth degree if the amount of solid waste collected is at least 10 but less than 100 cubic yards of solids or at least 250 but less than 1,000 United States gallons of liquids.

§ 48:13A-12. Penalties;

a. Any person or any officer or agent thereof who shall knowingly violate any of the provisions of this act or aid or advise in such violation, or who, as principal, manager, director, agent, servant or employee knowingly does any act comprising a part of such violation, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 18 months or, notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, by a fine of not more than $ 50,000.00, or both; and if a corporation by a fine of not more than $ 100,000.00. Each day during which the violation continues constitutes an additional, separate and distinct offense.

b. Any person who shall violate any provision of P.L.1970, c.40 (C.48:13A-1 et seq.) or P.L.1991, c.381 (C.48:13A-7.1 et al.) or any rule, regulation or administrative order adopted or issued pursuant thereto, including an interdistrict, intradistrict or interstate waste flow order issued in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection, or under any applicable provision of Title 48 of the Revised Statutes, or who shall engage in the solid waste collection business or solid waste disposal business without having been issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $ 10,000.00 for a first offense, not more than $ 25,000.00 for a second offense and not more than $ 50,000.00 for a third and every subsequent offense. Each day during which the violation continues constitutes an additional, separate and distinct offense. The penalties herein provided shall be enforced by summary proceedings instituted by the board under “the penalty enforcement law” (N.J.S. 2A:58-1 et seq.). The Superior Court and the municipal courts shall all have jurisdiction to enforce “the penalty enforcement law” in connection with this act.

§ 48:13A-12.1. Solid waste vehicles not to transport food, rules and regulations

a. Except as provided in subsections b., c. or d., no vehicle, including any truck, trailer or other haulage vehicle other than a truck tractor, utilized for the transportation of solid waste in this State shall be subsequently utilized for the transportation of fresh food or fresh food products, including meat, poultry, produce or other non-processed fresh food products intended for sale for human consumption. The presence of refrigeration equipment in a vehicle shall be prima facie evidence that the vehicle is used for the transportation of fresh food or fresh food products, unless the vehicle is lawfully registered, equipped and operated for the transportation of medical waste.

b. No vehicle which is registered pursuant to State solid waste laws and regulations for lawful solid waste transportation activities in this State shall be utilized for the transportation of fresh food or fresh food products, including meat, poultry, produce or other non-processed fresh food products intended for sale for human consumption, unless that vehicle has been appropriately cleaned and sanitized in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection, after consultation with the Department of Health, prior to any use for the transportation of fresh food or fresh food products. The Department of Environmental Protection may adopt rules and regulations requiring notification, recordkeeping or reporting of the use of registered vehicles for the transportation of fresh food or fresh food products.

c. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any vehicles utilized for the transportation of source separated recyclable materials as defined in section 2 of P.L.1987, c.102 (C.13:1E-99.12).

d. A vehicle, including any truck, trailer or other haulage vehicle other than a truck tractor, owned or operated by any person engaging in the transportation of fresh produce intended for human consumption, may be utilized for the transportation of vegetative waste material generated from the fresh produce that was transported in that vehicle if the vegetative waste material is transported without delay to a vegetative waste composting facility.

§ 48:13A-12.2. Violations, penalties

a. Any owner or operator who knowingly violates the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1991, c.214 (C.48:13A-12.1) is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

b. The provisions of N.J.S. 2C:43-3 to the contrary notwithstanding, any person convicted of a violation of the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1991, c.214 (C.48:13A-12.1) is subject to a fine of not less than $ 7,500.00 for a first offense, not more than $ 10,000.00 for a second offense and not more than $ 25,000.00 for a third and every subsequent offense. Each day during which the violation continues constitutes an additional, separate and distinct offense.

c. If a person is convicted of a violation of the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1991, c.214 (C.48:13A-12.1), the court shall, in addition to the penalties provided under this section, require the person to perform community service for a term of not more than 90 days, and the person shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than six months nor more than one year.

d. All conveyances used or intended for use in the unlawful transportation of solid waste in violation of the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1991, c.214 (C.48:13A-12.1) are subject to forfeiture to the State pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1981, c.387 (C.13:1K-1 et seq.).

New Jersey Air Pollution Defense Attorneys

N.J.S.A. 26:2C-19

f. Any person who:

(1) purposely or knowingly violates the provisions of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-1 et seq.), or any code, rule, regulation, administrative order, or court order adopted or issued pursuant thereto, is guilty of a crime of the third degree;

(2) purposely or knowingly violates any federally mandated air pollution control requirement, any operating permit condition, or any fee or filing requirement imposed in connection with an operating permit is guilty of a crime of the third degree, the sentence for which may include, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, an enhanced fine of $ 10,000 per day per violation;

(3) purposely or knowingly makes any false material statement, representation, or certification in any form, notice, statement, or report required in connection with an operating permit, or who purposely or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required by an operating permit, is guilty of a crime of the third degree, the sentence for which may include, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, an enhanced fine of $ 10,000 per day per violation;

(4) recklessly violates the provisions of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-1 et seq.), or any code, rule, regulation, administrative order, or court order adopted or issued pursuant thereto, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

Our team of tough, smart New Jersey environmental crimes attorneys have the experience and dedication to defend you and your company against charges of illegal dumping, pollution or any environmental crime. From Newark to Trenton, Jersey City to Atlantic City, we will represent you in any court in New Jersey. With an office in New Brunswick, our defense attorneys are easy to reach from anywhere in New Jersey.