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Department of Envtl. Protection v. Harris

ELR Citation: 17 ELR 20707
Nos. No. A-860-85T1, 518 A.2d 743/214 N.J. Super. 140, (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., 07/09/1986)

The court rules that civil penalties under the New Jersey Solid Waste Management Act (SWMA) may be imposed on violators in the absence of proof of willfulness or intention to violate the Act. The court first holds that the trial court correctly found thatdefendant, the owner-operator of a sanitary landfill, violated the SWMA because he failed to properly close his landfill pursuant to an order issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The court then holds that the trial court's imposition of a penalty was proper even though defendant did not willfully violate the SWMA. The SWMA does not stipulate that either willfulness or intention to violate the Act must be proved before a penalty may be assessed against a violator.

Counsel for Defendant-Appellant
Frederic J. Gross
7 E. Kings Hwy., Mt. Ephraim NJ 08059
(609) 931-1511

Counsel for Plaintiff-Respondent
Ronald P. Heksch, Deputy Attorney General
Dept. of Law & Public Safety
8th Fl., Justice Complex, CN 080, Trenton NJ 08625
(609) 292-8740

Before Judges MICHELS, DEIGHAN, and STERN.