TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Stephen M. Sweeney and John H. Adler that would amend the “Spill Compensation and Control Act” to increase the monetary penalties for owners of vessels that discharge hazardous chemicals was approved today by the Senate Environment Committee.
“The penalties that were established with the “Spill Compensation and Control Act” are so low that they don’t provide much incentive for companies to abide by the law. Many companies would just rather pay the fines because they are cheaper in the long run,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “This measure would force the owners of shipping companies to make the necessary changes to protect our waterways, or pay costly fines.”
The Senators’ measure, S-2311, would increase the monetary penalties for shipping owners and operators of vessels that discharge hazardous substances. The measure would increase the fines for vessels discharging hazardous substances from $150 to $1,200 per gross ton.
“This measure would hold these shipping companies responsible for vessels that contaminate our water,” said Senator Adler, D-Cherry Hill. “By increasing the penalties, we would be sending a clear message that we are concerned about the health and well being of our residents and natural resources, and will not sit back and allow these boats to dispose of hazardous materials in New Jersey’s rivers and lakes..”
This measure now awaits a vote by the full Senate.