27. a. Whenever the Commissioner of Environmental Protection finds that a person has violated a provision of P.L.2005, c.219 (C.26:2C-8.26 et al.), or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the commissioner may:
(1)Levy a civil administrative penalty in accordance with subsection b. of this section; or
(2)Bring an action for a civil penalty in accordance with subsection c. of this section.
Recourse to any of the remedies available under this section shall not preclude recourse to any of the other remedies prescribed in this section or by any other applicable law.
b.The commissioner is authorized to assess a civil administrative penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation of P.L.2005, c.219 (C.26:2C-8.26 et al.), or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto. In adopting rules and regulations establishing the amount of any penalty to be assessed, the commissioner may take into account the type, seriousness, and duration of the violation and the economic benefits from the violation gained by the violator. No assessment shall be levied pursuant to this section until after the party has been notified by certified mail or personal service. The notice shall: (1) identify the section of the law, rule, regulation, approval, or authorization violated; (2) recite the facts alleged to constitute a violation; (3) state the amount of the civil penalties to be imposed; and (4) affirm the rights of the alleged violator to a hearing. The ordered party shall have 20 days from receipt of the notice within which to deliver to the commissioner a written request for a hearing. After the hearing and upon finding that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue a final order after assessing the amount of the fine specified in the notice. If no hearing is requested, the notice shall become a final order after the expiration of the 20-day period. Payment of the assessment is due when a final order is issued or the notice becomes a final order. The authority to levy an administrative penalty is in addition to all other enforcement provisions in this act and in any other applicable law, rule, or regulation, and the payment of any assessment shall not be deemed to affect the availability of any other enforcement provisions in connection with the violation for which the assessment is levied. Any civil administrative penalty assessed under this section may be compromised by the commissioner upon the posting of a performance bond by the violator, or upon such terms and conditions as the commissioner may establish by regulation.
c.A person who violates any provisions of P.L.2005, c.219 (C.26:2C-8.26 et al.), or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or who fails to pay a civil administrative penalty in full pursuant to subsection b. of this section, shall be subject, upon order of a court, to a civil penalty for such violation of not more than $5,000. Any civil penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection may be collected with costs in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.). In addition to any penalties, costs or interest charges, the court may assess against the violator the amount of actual economic benefit accruing to the violator from the violation. The Superior Court and the municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.) in connection with the provisions of P.L.2005, c.219 (C.26:2C-8.26 et al.).
d.Any person who knowingly, recklessly, or negligently makes a false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, or other document filed or required to be maintained under P.L.2005, c.219 (C.26:2C-8.26 et al.) shall be in violation of P.L.2005, c.219 (C.26:2C-8.26 et al.) and shall be subject to the penalties assessed pursuant to subsections b. and c. of this section.