On January 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the “dirty dirt” bill that requires businesses engaged in soil and fill recycling to comply with the background checks and licensing requirements currently imposed on the solid waste industry. The underlying history of improper soil disposal practices which motivated enactment of the new law is
In December 2019, a bill to amend New Jersey’s A-901 licensing program cleared two hurdles in the Assembly on its way to a full floor vote and possible presentment to the Governor. New Jersey Senate Bill 2306 (Assembly Bill 4267), which unanimously cleared the Senate in June, seeks to amend existing law to require background checks for “a broader range of persons” participating in the State’s solid waste industry.
In response to a heavy infiltration of organized crime into the solid-waste transportation industry, the Legislature put into place in 1984 a legal and regulatory framework under which businesses seeking to enter the solid-waste industry as a transporter, facility, or broker must clear several hurdles in order to operate. Among those hurdles is the time-consuming A-901 approval process, which generally requires would-be market participants to submit to criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and annual disclosure statements in order to obtain and maintain a license to operate in the solid-waste industry in New Jersey. Unsurprisingly, there are exceptions to that general rule, most notable of which is that the A-901 approval process does not currently apply to businesses engaged in recycling operations. There are also other limited exceptions to the A-901 approval process, such as for self-generators of solid waste.…