The Legislature finds that the ever-increasing costs of environmentally sound solid waste disposal necessarily impose significant economic burdens on local governments and residential taxpayers alike and put a severe strain on the ability of municipalities to meet their budgetary requirements without periodic increases in local property taxes; that while the individual escrow accounts that landfill owners are currently required to maintain for closure were mandated to assure that sufficient funds would be available upon the termination of landfills, those sanitary landfill facilities approaching capacity will not have a sufficient time to generate the needed revenues; that the proper disposal of solid waste and the environmentally sound and proper closure of sanitary landfill facilities are governmental functions affected with the public interest; that the considerable escrow and closing costs required to insure the proper closure of sanitary landfills have contributed to these escalating disposal costs or tipping fees; and that the State shall assume a concomitant share of the financial obligations created by these requirements.
The Legislature declares that it is the public policy of the State of New Jersey to provide a funding source to defray the costs of increases in landfill tipping fees required for closure and to provide needed assistance for such closures through the issuance of grants and loans to local government units to stabilize these costs in an efficient and equitable manner.
The Legislature therefore determines that it is in the public interest to establish a "Sanitary Landfill Closure and Rate Relief Fund" in the Department of Environmental Protection, which program shall provide State funding to make grants and loans to local governments to defray the costs of increases in landfill disposal tipping fees specifically required for closure and to finance the closure of sanitary landfill facilities approaching capacity.
L. 1985, c. 368, s. 1, eff. Nov. 12, 1985.
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