NOVEMBER 2008

Wood recycler faces million dollar fine for failure to secure required state air permits

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has fined a Mercer County wood and mulch recycler more than $1 million for operating various pieces of diesel-powered equipment at its facility without the necessary air permits, Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced.

Britton Recycling, located on Bakers Basin Road in Lawrence Township, also faces an order to cease operations if it does not immediately secure the necessary air permits and equipment operating certificates.

“The company has repeatedly snubbed DEP orders to obtain the proper permits. No company, even a recycler, is above the laws and regulations of this state,” Commissioner Jackson said. “The company even added new equipment while under DEP orders to secure permits for existing equipment. As a result, this company faces stiff fines and potentially being shut down.”

The DEP has issued administrative orders stemming from a host of violations involving the operations of equipment including wood grinders, tree chippers, mulch-baggers, screening machines and conveyer belts.

The company was further cited with failure to comply with previous administrative orders regarding lack of permits as well as failure to maintain emission statements.

Based on information available about the equipment used at the facility, the DEP estimates Britton Recycling has the potential to emit 319 tons of nitrogen oxides and 27 tons of particulates in a year. This means the company would be categorized as a major source of air pollutants under state and federal laws.

The enforcement actions result from inspections this year by the central region office of the DEP’s Air Compliance and Enforcement program. The penalty calculation is based on the company’s operation of equipment without permits on 105 days between April 24 and August 8.