2023 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 13 - Conservation and Development--Parks and Reservations
Section 13:1E-48.2 - Findings, declarations.

13:1E-48.2 Findings, declarations.

2. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. Various human and animal health care centers and clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and other facilities generate substantial volumes of medical waste that must be transported and disposed in a sanitary and environmentally sound manner; that this waste poses both a potential threat to the health of those persons who handle, transport, dispose, or otherwise come into contact with it and to the public health; that, in addition to the actual and perceived risks associated with the management of medical waste, there are important aesthetic concerns that must be addressed; that the present regulatory scheme for medical waste is confusing and inadequate, and the enforcement thereof has been lacking and the penalties assessed for violations insufficient; and that the citizens of the State generally lack confidence that medical waste in the State is being managed in a proper and safe manner;

b. The beaches, coastline, and waters of New Jersey are a natural treasure cherished by the people of the State, provide a superior national recreational destination protected by State and federal law, host a myriad of commercial industries intrinsically linked to the economic prosperity of the State, are a reflection of the State and its reputation, and are host to a tourist industry that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs for New Jersey's workers and generates more than $36 billion for the State's economy;

c. Medical waste illegally dumped in State waters or washing onto the shores is a health, safety, and environmental hazard, contaminating and polluting highly visited and beloved beaches that are open to the public and supported by both the State and coastal municipalities, and that any disturbance on the beach, in the waters of the State, or otherwise threatening the visitors to such places harms the State's reputation, deters future tourism, diminishes the revenue realized from those places and severely impacts the local economy; and

d. It is therefore appropriate, necessary, and in the best interest of the State to establish a comprehensive management system that provides for the proper and safe tracking, identification, packaging, storage, control, monitoring, handling, collection, and disposal of regulated medical waste; that monitoring of the regulated medical waste stream is best accomplished through the creation of a manifest tracking system for regulated medical waste; and strict enforcement of the law concerning regulated medical waste and the establishment of substantial civil and criminal penalties for violations thereof will deter unlawful behavior and further protect the State's beaches, coastline, waters, and land from illegally dumped medical waste that so greatly affects the health and welfare of citizens and visitors, the quality and safety of State waters, the valuable tourism industry, and the State and local economies.

L.1989, c.34, s.2; amended 2012, c.65, s.1.

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