Section: Costs allowed in discretion of court
11. a. The commission shall propose and adopt site designations for the number and type of new major hazardous waste facilities determined to be necessary in the plan.
The provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) or any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, these sites shall be proposed and adopted in the following manner:
(1) Within 18 months of the effective date of this act, or within 6 months of the receipt of the criteria from the department, whichever is sooner, the commission shall propose sites for new major hazardous waste facilities, transmit written notice thereof, by certified mail, to the governing body, board of health, planning board and environmental commission of the affected municipality, and provide the governing body with a grant, pursuant to the provisions of subsection d. of this section, to conduct a site suitability study of the proposed site. In the event that a site is located in a county wherein has been established a county health department, such notice shall also be transmitted thereto;
(2) Within 6 months of the receipt of a grant from the commission, the governing body of the affected municipality shall complete and transmit to the commission the site suitability study on the proposed site;
(3) Within 45 days of the receipt by the commission of the municipal site suitability study, an adjudicatory hearing concerning the proposed site shall be conducted by an administrative law judge. The affected municipality shall be a party of interest to such hearing, and shall have the right to present testimony and cross-examine witnesses. Intervention in this hearing by any other person shall be as provided by the "Administrative Procedure Act";
(4) Within 30 days of the close of such hearing, the administrative law judge shall transmit his recommendations for action on the proposed site to the commission. The judge shall not favorably recommend the proposed site as suitable for a major hazardous waste facility unless he finds clear and convincing evidence that locating a major hazardous waste facility on the proposed site will not constitute a substantial detriment to the public health, safety and welfare of the affected municipality; and
(5) Within 30 days of the receipt thereof, the commission shall affirm, conditionally affirm or reject the recommendations of the administrative law judge and adopt or withdraw the proposed site. Such action by the commission shall be based upon the potential for significant impairment of the environment or the public health, shall be considered to be final agency action thereon for the purposes of the "Administrative Procedure Act" and shall be subject only to judicial review as provided in the Rules of Court.
If the commission fails to act upon the recommendations of the administrative law judge as required in this subsection, the failure shall constitute commission affirmance of those recommendations.
b. The commission may designate alternate or additional sites for new major hazardous waste facilities, at the request of any hazardous waste industry, and the requestor shall have the burden of proof concerning the suitability of the site in proceedings conducted pursuant to subsection a. of this section.
c. The commission may, upon its own motion or at the request of the governing body of any affected municipality, repeal or withdraw any adopted site for a new major hazardous waste facility if, in the discretion of the commission, such action is consistent with the purposes and provisions of this act.
d. The commission may make grants to municipalities for conducting site suitability studies of proposed sites for major hazardous waste facilities, pursuant to this section, from any State, federal or other funds which may be appropriated or otherwise made available to it for this purpose.
e. In the event that any site proposed by the commission pursuant to this section is located in more than one municipality, the notices required herein shall be transmitted to each affected municipality or agency thereof, the grant awarded for the municipal site suitability study shall be made to all of the affected municipalities, the site suitability study shall be conducted jointly by all of the affected municipalities, and all of the affected municipalities shall be considered a single party for the purposes of the adjudicatory hearing held pursuant to this section.1
L.1981, c.279, s.11; amended 2007, c.39, s.23.
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