Water Contamination or Failure to Comply
Water Pollution Offenses
NJ takes any conduct that risks contamination of the drinking water supply very serious. The penalties are stiff if any individual, company, or corporation is found guilty of failing to comply with regulations intended to safeguard fresh water or, worse yet, polluting the supply. If you or your company has been accused of non-compliance with regulations or contaminating water, we have the attorneys to insure that your rights are fully protected. The defense lawyers on our team include two former prosecutors and we possess over 60 years of experience handling criminal cases in New Jersey. An attorney is available immediately to assist you at 1-877-450-8301.
Water Pollution Law – N.J.S.A. 58:10A–10
The New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act (“Act”) establishes criminal charges for polluting, contaminating, violating a permit, failing to have a permit, or for false representations or reporting. The Act covers a wide range of conduct effecting water and includes First Degree, Second Degree, Third Degree and Fourth Degree violations.
It is a First Degree crime to knowingly cause an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury as a result of purposely or knowingly violating an effluent limitation (e.g. polluting or contaminating), condition of a permit, or by discharging without a permit.
It is a Second Degree crime for someone to contaminate, pollute or otherwise cause a significant adverse environmental impact as a result of purposely, knowingly or recklessly violating the Water Pollution Control Act.
It is a Third Degree crime to make a false statement, representation or certification in an application or document required by the Water Pollution Control Act, or to tamper with a monitoring device or to fail to submit a discharge monitoring report or any portion thereof. The conduct prohibited in this paragraph constitutes a Fourth Degree crime where it is committed as a result of negligence or conduct undertaken negligently.
Penalties & Fines for Water Pollution or Contamination
For a first degree crime, the range of incarceration is 10 to 20 years in prison, with a presumptive term of 15 years in jail. The term in prison for a second degree offense is 5 to 10 years, with a presumptive sentence of 7 years imprisonment. The prison term on a third degree violation is 0 to 5 years, and it is jail of 0 to 18 months for a fourth degree offense.
The fine imposed on an individual convicted of a first degree offense must be at least $50,000 and not more than $250,000. For a corporation, the minimum fine is $200,000 and the maximum fine is $1,000,000. For a second degree crime, the fine must not be less than $25,000 nor more than $250,000 per day. For a third degree offense, the fine must not be less than $5,000 nor more than $75,000 per day of violation.
Statute of Limitations. A complaint or indictment must be filed within ten (10) years of discovery of the alleged misconduct by state or local law enforcement, or the Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP").
A water violation is not something that you or your company can afford to take lightly and our attorneys can provide you with the answers you need. Lawyers at our firm possess decades of experience to put to use on your behalf. Give us a call anytime 24/7 for a free initial consultation and an attorney will be happy to assist you.