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Section: "Environmental Stewardship Program."

Statute: 13:1D-148

1. a. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall establish a list of businesses, companies, and corporations in the State that are, as determined by the commissioner, environmentally responsible. In making this determination, the commissioner, at a minimum, shall evaluate a business, company, or corporation on the basis of the following: (1) the contribution of the business, company, or corporation to the improved environment of the State, especially any contribution to environmental education and awareness in the State; the reduction of air and water pollution and the preservation of natural resources; the implementation of policies, procedures, or technologies to reduce, replace, or minimize the environmental impact of toxic materials and substances used in manufacturing processes or other applications; the increased use of recycled materials, energy conservation, or alternative forms of energy or fuel with environmental benefits; and the implementation of open space preservation, habitat protection, or responsible land use policies and projects; (2) the extent to which these contributions are in addition to steps the business, company, or corporation is required to take in these areas due to local, State, or federal requirements; and (3) the use of innovative policies, procedures, and technologies that result in sound environmental practices and important environmental benefits for the State. The list established pursuant to this subsection shall be displayed prominently on the Department of Environmental Protection's website, and shall be updated as appropriate. b. In addition to designating businesses, companies, or corporations as environmentally responsible pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall periodically provide public recognition to those businesses, companies, or corporations in the State that, as determined by the commissioner, have exhibited exemplary attention to, and concern for, the environment in their business practices, policies, procedures or goods, as evidenced by their contribution to the improved environment of the State and use of innovative policies, procedures, and technologies that result in sound environmental practices and important environmental benefits for the State. This recognition may be in the form of the award of certificates, press announcements, or other forms of recognition the commissioner deems appropriate to highlight the achievements of these businesses, companies, or corporations. The commissioner may also create a logo which businesses, companies, or corporations who have been recognized as environmentally responsible may use in the promotion of that business, company, or corporation. c. Any business, company, or corporation in the State that makes a contribution to the improved environment of the State or implements innovative policies, procedures, or technologies, above and beyond the scope of those measures required pursuant to local, State, or federal requirements, may submit to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection documentation of these contributions or the implementation of these measures, how the measures constitute environmental measures above and beyond the scope of those measures required pursuant to local, State, or federal requirements, and the environmental benefit gained by the State from these contributions or the implementation of the measures. The commissioner shall review the submitted documentation and determine if the business, company, or corporation should be included in the list established pursuant to subsection a. of this section, and if the business, company, or corporation should be further recognized for its achievements pursuant to subsection b. of this section. d. The list and the recognition program established pursuant to subsections a. and b. of this section may be known as the "Environmental Stewardship Program." e. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), any rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this section, including, but not limited to, provisions establishing the criteria for designation as an environmentally responsible business, company, or corporation, and for award of certificates of recognition to exemplary businesses, companies, or corporations. Any rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this subsection shall include, at a minimum, the evaluation criteria provided in subsection a. of this section. L.2009, c.316, s.1.

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