Committee Meeting

of

ASSEMBLY REGULATORY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

"Testimony concerning the management and operations of the Department of Law and Public

Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of Weights and Measures;

and testimony concerning State-issued emergency management directives"

ASSEMBLY BILL No. 3749
(Revises requirements for DEP checklist and technical manuals)

LOCATION:

Committee Room 8  State House Annex Trenton, New Jersey

DATE:

June 9, 2003
10:00 a.m.

 

MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE PRESENT:

Assemblyman William D. Payne, Chairman

Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, Vice-Chairman

Assemblywoman Nilsa Cruz-Perez

Assemblywoman Connie Myers

Assemblyman John E. Rooney

 

 

ALSO PRESENT:    

James F. Vari 

John M. Leyman Jennifer J. Rasch
Office of Legislative Services Assembly Majority Assembly Republican
Committee Aide Committee Aide Committee Aide
     


                                                     

Meeting Recorded and Transcribed by
T
he Office of Legislative Services, Public Information Office,
Hearing Unit, State House Annex, PO 068, Trenton, New Jersey


 

ASSEMBLYMAN WILLIAM D. PAYNE (Chairman): Good

morning.

Weíre here today to continue the formal process of reviewing New

Jerseyís State departmentsí regulatory policies.

Before that, Iíd like to take the roll call.

MR. VARI (Committee Aide): Assemblyman Rooney.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Here.

MR. VARI: Vice-Chairman Cryan.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Here.

MR. VARI: Chairman Payne.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Here.

Thank you.

We do expect the other members of our Committee. Theyíre on

their way.

As I say, this morning, we are going to continue the formal process

that weíve been conducting and reviewing -- New Jersey State departmentsí

regulatory policies. During these several months, my staff met with many of our

Stateís businesses, environmental and local government organizations to take

inventory of their regulatory concerns and their recommendations on how best

to effectuate changes to these regulations.

It is my hope that, by continuing this review, our Committee will

be able to work with the departments to institute changes where necessary,

clarify existing practices when appropriate, and provide an on-going forum for

addressing future regulatory concerns.

2

Based on our review, we identified key regulatory issues and their

related departments. To best address these issues, this Committee will continue

to hear from the departments, one-by-one. Today, we have with us

representatives from the Department of Law and Public Safety.

Now, let me start by thanking the department representatives,

business leaders, and local government organizations for your appearance. We

appreciate your interest in being here today.

First, weíre going to call upon representatives from the Attorney

Generalís Office, Division of Consumer Affairs.

Please come forward and identify yourself.

They will be talking about two issues, today. Initially, uniform

enforcement and modification of commodity product listing regulations. And

then theyíll come back later for the third hearing.

D P T Y. A T T. G E N E R A L F R A N K D O M I N G U E Z: Good

morning, Chairman.

My name is Frank Dominguez. Iím with the Attorney Generalís

office. And I have with me here, today, Bob Campanelli, from the Division of

Consumer Affairs, to address issues that the Committee asked us to take a look

into: specifically, two issues on weights and measures. One, dealing with the

direct oversight, or general oversight, of the county weights and measures office;

and the other dealing with the commodity listing forms.

Bob, would you like to--

R O B E R T J. C A M P A N E L L I: Okay.

Chairman Payne, members of the Committee, thank you for--

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Youíre now on the record.

3

MR. CAMPANELLI: I am -- now I am, yes.

Thank you for this opportunity.

The Division of Consumer Affairs, as you know, has regulatory --

has oversight over the Office of Weights and Measures. And we have always

taken the position that we would like to ensure a uniformity of enforcement and

procedures throughout the state.

To that effect, some time ago, in the í80s, an amendment was

added to the weights and measure statute, which permits the State

Superintendent to have, what we call, general oversight. And we have,

periodically, used that authority in order to develop protocols, so that we have

uniform enforcement throughout the 21 counties and those municipalities which

have weights and measures offices.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Do any members of the Committee

have any questions for the representatives? (no response)

If not, Iíd like to call, from the New Jersey Food Council, Jim

Morford.

Please take a seat, here.

Stand by.

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DOMINGUEZ: Would you

like us to stay?

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Yes, stand by.

Let Jim come forward, and be here to answer any questions if we

have--

J A M E S C. M O R F O R D: Thank you.

4

Mr. Campanelli, youíre welcome to stay. I didnít mean to--

(laughter)

Good morning. Iím Jim Morford. Iím President of the New Jersey

Food Council.

Iíd like to take this opportunity to introduce Rick Wright, who is

about to become my successor. Iím retiring from the Food Council on the first

of July. Our board has selected Rick Wright to be my replacement. So Iím

delighted to introduce him to this Committee.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And congratulations to all of the

survivors of last weekís exciting elections.

I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you a little bit about some

of our -- I think concerns may even be a stronger word than necessary -- some of

our interests in what we would like to see develop in the Office of Weights and

Measures. Weíve worked long -- many, many years -- with Mr. Campanelli,

whoís been a very, very effective representative of the Attorney General and the

office of Consumer Affairs.

Weíve enjoyed a very cordial relationship, because the industry that

I represent, the food retailers and their suppliers, feel very, very strongly that we

need and want, in New Jersey, always, to have strong, effective weights and

measures laws and regulations.

Keeping that playing field level is extremely important in our highly

competitive industry. So do not make any mistake by thinking that we would

like to see a weights and measures law weakened, or diminished, or anything

like that. If anything, we want to see them strengthened.

5

The statute under which weights and measures governs us is a

statute passed in 1911. It was, as moments ago was suggested, modified a little

bit in the mid-1980s, and tinkered again, a little bit, in the 1990s. But this is

a nearly century-old statute.

The Federal government has the National Institute of Standards

and Testing, NIST, which governs a lot of the area that weights and measures

addresses. They change their handbook and guidance books almost every year,

sometimes even more frequently. Not by way of illustration -- just to suggest

that we really need to consider mechanisms to take a very careful look and

review of our State weights and measures law, and bring it into the 21st century.

Certainly, marketing methods, conditions in technologies have

changed dramatically since 1911. The New Jersey Food Council has

recommended to Director Erdos, of the Division of Consumer Affairs, that,

perhaps under her auspices, a panel, if you will, of stakeholders could be called

to the table to address this 1911 statute, with its periodic modifications, and

come up with a recommendation to the Legislature for changes that would

modify and bring the statute into this century.

We know that there is great concern among some of our counties.

Some countiesí offices, and theyíre independent offices, address weights and

measures issues much more vigorously than others. I think our goal is to

achieve a standardization. Whether you have county offices or not, if they are

all applying the law with a degree of certainty and standardization-- My

members, Pathmark, ShopRite, Acme, Stop & Shop -- they have stores in many,

many counties. And itís, kind of, difficult for their management teams to have

to feel that they are being held to varying standards and varying levels of

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aggressive, or less, accountability for those standards. We want to be held to

the same act of standards up and down the state.

So without trying to make any recommendations for how a

structure should look, I think it is important that this Committee either endorses

or recommends that we do seek to have some mechanism that would produce

some recommendations for the Legislature to consider. Two examples I might

point out -- in my earlier years with becoming a government affairs

representative for business-- When I joined the State Chamber of Commerce

staff, probably more than 20 years ago, now, they were in the midst of looking

at the workersí compensation law. And that was done by business and labor

coming together, working out their concerns, and taking a proposal to the

Legislature, which then fine-tuned it and made it a law that has been the envy

of the nation, modeled -- many states have modeled their workersí

compensation laws after New Jerseyís, and it has stood the test of time.

A similar thing happened with unemployment compensation, where

significant reforms were made back in the Kean administration, when business

and labor came together, studied the problems, and offered recommendations

to the Legislature, which then, in itís judgement, made whatever modifications

necessary and enacted a reform that stands today.

So, simply, the suggestion of the New Jersey Food Council would

be to encourage, whether itís done by the Legislature or whether itís done

through Consumer Affairs-- Iíve also called this matter to the attention of

Secretary Watley (phonetic spelling) -- that we need a process where all the

stakeholders -- and I mean the government officials, the State Office of Weights

and Measures, the county offices of weights and measures-- Because we have

7

found, when we sit down with those county offices, we come to areas of

understanding and agreement.

I think itís important that we do this, that we have subgroups that

work on fuel issues, and work on dump-truck gravel issues, and work on food

issues, and work on general merchandise issues. Itís a big job, and it wonít be

done quickly, but we ought to begin doing it real soon.

If there are no questions, I thank you for the opportunity.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you.

We do have-- Vice Chairman Cryan has a question.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Jim, whether itís you or Mr.

Campanelli, or Mr. Dominguez-- How about-- Can you give me an example

of where non-standardization is, actually, an issue in the Food Council?

By the way, first and foremost, congratulations to you, and my

sympathies to Mr. Wright. (laughter)

But, can you give me-- Do you have any idea? I mean, we talked

about workmensí comp and all this.

MR. MORFORD: As far as weights and measures?

MR. CAMPANELLI: Weights and measures? Well, right now,

weíre looking at the issue of wet and dry tare.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: What is it?

MR. CAMPANELLI: Wet and dry tare.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Oh, go ahead. Tell me. (laughter)

What is wet and dry tare?

MR. CAMPANELLI: Basically, when you go to a supermarket, the

packaging that you get, letís say, chicken or meat-- The boat, and what we call

8

the diaper, is what we call the tare. And there are different ways of measuring

the tare in consideration of the price. And there is a series of tolerances that are

used. And there are different standards established by NIST. Itís not that

theyíre tremendously complicated, but they vary from place to place. And weíre

trying to institute uniformity consistent with the NIST standards. And weíve

been dealing with -- right now -- with the Food Council on this issue, now, for

what, about six or seven months? And we think weíre fairly close to a

resolution.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: So when it varies from place to place,

weíre talking county to county?

MR. CAMPANELLI: Well, the procedure that is utilized-- For

example, thereís some misunderstanding as to whether or not you can use a

standard which is called used dry tare. Wet tare would mean the napkin in the

boat saturated with the liquid run-off. Anyway, these are the kinds of issues

that we deal with.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Can I ask one on the weight?

MR. CAMPANELLI: Sure.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Are there any particular areas for the

Food Council, or for you guys -- just because Jim is in front of us talking -- that

we should be aware of, as a Committee, that are affecting consumers as a result

of -- that need regulatory reform?

MR. MORFORD: If I could respond to that, Assemblyman, I donít

think so much that that is the issue. Iíll give you one example of -- that we felt

was assertive enforcement, where stores that have locations in multiple counties

-- stores in one county in particular were being cited by the weights and

9

measures office for selling baked goods that were slightly overweight. Now, you

know, underweight is, usually, the concern -- that the customer is, somehow,

being cheated because itís underweight. But slightly overweight -- because a

strict technical reading of the law could suggest that it wasnít the exact weight,

therefore you could extract a fine.

It seems absurd, but there was a -- I think it took the Attorney

General to step in and, finally, call that back. I think thatís the kind of thing

weíre looking for in relative stability of enforcement.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Overweight is okay, right, or else Iím

in trouble? (laughter)

MR. MORFORD: I mean, if I got fined for being overweight, Iíd

really be in trouble.

Again, these are very marginal, very slight differences.

Now, we have magnitudes of allowable variation, tare-- Some of

these terms are deadening, almost, in their explanation. But we have, in the

statute now, an interesting thing on tare.

The way the law was amended, about a year and a half ago, two

years ago -- the Bennett bill -- on gravel in trucks. The law was amended in

such a way that the only definition of tare in the statute today applies to gravel

in trucks. Now, common sense has permitted the progress to go-- But thatís the

kind of thing that needs cleaning up. Thatís a minor thing, but it needs cleaning

up. And we hope that we can find the mechanism to do that.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Thanks.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you.

Do we have any--

10

Would Rick Wright like--

Santoro.

Do you have anything to add?

MR. MORFORD: I think heís declining.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Before they go, I have one last

question.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Sure.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Just looking at this -- and your

duties-- Just, out of curiosity, what is the time thatís allowed on a car wash

(indiscernible)? (laughter)

MR. CAMPANELLI: There is no law governing--

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Iím just wondering, because I see

thatís one of the things you regulate. Somebody better check my car wash,

because I canít very well get it on $1.

MR. CAMPANELLI: Where itís stated, we would check.

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: I donít think itís stated. It just says

a buck -- four quarters only, and thatís it.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you, Assemblyman.

I would like Mr. John Donnadio, the New Jersey Association of

Counties, to please come forward.

And as soon as Rich Santoro finishes, Iíd like to have you--

R I C H A R D S A N T O R O: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members

of the Committee.

My name is Richard Santoro, from the New Jersey Retail Merchants

Association, and I certainly have the daunting task of following up to what Mr.

11

Morford has already put forth. And we certainly echo and agree with everything

he says, as we always do.

But if I could just, maybe, give two more examples from a retailerís

perspective of how having such an antiquated weights and measures regulation

makes compliance extremely difficult for retailers. One of which is a law that

stipulates the zip code of a manufacturer must appear on every product box.

However, with the increasing use of global markets, and many U.S. companies

utilizing manufacturers that are located overseas, in China, or wherever they

may be -- areas that actually do not utilize zip codes-- And companies have

actually been fined, because zip codes from these manufactures do not appear

on the product boxes. But, in theory, these companies are being fined for a

foreign procedure and for a situation where they -- theyíre in a catch-22.

Another example is a requirement, a regulation, that stipulates the

number of items in a box must be printed on every product box. And, again,

while in theory this regulation would seem to improve customer education, the

regulation has been so strictly enforced that certain municipalities have fined

computer companies for not writing the letter -- excuse me, the number one on

a computer box. You get your computer-- And, in fact, CompUSA entered

litigation to fight a fine for not complying with this regulation, and won. And

CompUSA actually set a president going forward that exempted computer boxes

from this law.

So, what Iím trying to prove by these examples is that, while

companies can, certainly, set legal precedence in court to bring New Jerseyís

weights and measures laws and regulations in line with 21st century commerce,

litigation is, certainly, expensive, time consuming, and not the best way to

12

change the laws and regs that are on the books. So, hopefully, that supports

some additional reasons why we should, hopefully, change the law.

Also, just one last thing. I know something that we had worked

with Bob Campanelli on is, until we have an opportunity -- because I know itís

going to take some time to rewrite the weights and measures act -- is a change

to the weights and measures form, and what happens when an inspector goes

into a store. They have a certain form that they fill out if thereís some type of

violation. And most companies are using UPC labels, uniform product labels.

And we were just asking that the sheet would change, or they would add the

columns so that the UPC number would actually be on the form, because itís

very difficult, currently, to try to find the violation, when theyíre just writing

down a description of the product. And, you know, there are so many products

out there, and if you have a very large store, itís difficult to find that. So that

would, certainly, be helpful. And we would appreciate that.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Weíre going to have a response. I see

the Attorney Generalís -- is chafing at the bit to come up and have a comment

to say about this.

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DOMINGUEZ: Mr. Chairman,

I just wanted to say that the Division of Consumer Affairs has discussed the

issue with the Retail Merchants and have agreed to work on the form and make

it so that the UPC is on the form.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Very good. That resolves that, at least.

MR. SANTORO: If only it were always that easy.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you.

J O H N G. D O N N A D I O, ESQ.: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

13

My name is John Donnadio. Iím with the New Jersey Association

of Counties. I had hoped to have with me, today, a county superintendent of

weights and measures, but unfortunately, thatís not the case.

I did, however, spend a day weighing and learning about tare and

the dry, with the Burlington County Superintendent, and they offered me a parttime

summer job, so I think Iím qualified to testify today. (laughter)

Basically, what Iíd like to say, Mr. Chairman, is that the

Association-- First of all, the county superintendents of weights and measures

do the majority of field inspections in this state, as far as going into the

supermarkets and weighing the cakes, and weighing the scales, and calibrating

the scales -- and with regard to the gas stations, as well. And itís not that our

Association opposes, of course, the uniform regulations or guidelines. We just

want to make sure that, because we do do the majority of the work, that we are

involved and have input in any potential changes to the regulations.

It is true that there are more county superintendents -- some county

superintendents of weights and measures are more aggressive than others. I

think thatís the case with any quasi-law enforcement or rule enforcement. Itís

just the nature of it.

But, again, weíd just like to be involved with the process and

welcome the opportunity to work with the New Jersey Food Council, the Retail

Merchants Association, and continue working with the Division of Consumer

Affairs in the Attorney Generalís Office.

I thank you, and will be willing to answer any questions, if I can.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Assemblyman Cryan.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Thanks.

14

Do you-- Besides the tare issue, are there any other issues that your

county superintendents have voiced to you that are of particular concern?

Theyíre looking for standardization.

MR. DONNADIO: Well, I think they just welcome the

opportunity. I have to be honest, this is not-- One of the concerns that they did

express to me, was they were concerned about how much supervision the State

Superintendent of Weights and Measures would have over the counties. I think

the current statute reads that the Superintendent -- and I think the Attorney

Generalís office eluded to this -- that they have general supervision over the

counties, and they think that thatís sufficient for the time being, and they donít

want to see more supervision, because although we welcome the opportunity to

discuss general guidelines, I think the counties still like the autonomy that they

have in regulating weights and measures.

Other than that, Iím not aware of any other concerns, with regard

to the regulations, that we havenít already worked out with the Attorney

Generalís office in the past two or three years.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Whatís your view of the CompUSA

example?

MR. DONNADIO: I donít have a view. I will bring it back, but

I will say, Mr. Chairman -- Mr. Assemblyman, I will bring it back to our weights

and measures people. And I donít think itís a big deal if itís just a change to the

format. I donít see what would be the big deal. And if it would help, itís

something that we would be willing to sit down--

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Well, I mean, just in the example I

heard, the guy had to go to court. Is that right?

15

MR. SANTORO: Yes.

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: To put a one on a box-- I mean, I

would hope there would be some peer enforcement. Itís one example, so letís

not go overboard with it.

Still, the company got caught, it cost money. They went into court

and did all-- And I just wonder how much selective -- not selective, but more

aggressive enforcement there is, as opposed to less. I hope thereís some

uniformity. If you could pass that along, Iíd appreciate it.

MR. DONNADIO: Thank you. Okay, I will. Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you very much.

MR. DONNADIO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: I do have concerns. I wonder whether

or not the representative from -- Campanelli or Dominguez would return to the

table, because I do have a question or two.

Enforcement, I suppose-- One of the concerns I hear is that,

number one, the lawís archaic -- initially 1911 -- and had some minor

adjustments over the years. But weíre still not where we should be, perhaps. So,

number one, I suggest -- and Iím not sure that youíre the people to answer this--

But, it seems to me, a very sensible, kind of, suggestion: Establish a panel that

would be able to have input from various stakeholders in this area. Thatís

certainly something that should be looked at very seriously.

The question I have is enforcement. If we have, throughout the

state, various counties, with varying degrees of monitoring, etc.-- It would make

sense, it seems to me, that if we would have a State standard by which all of the

16

counties could adhere to-- Whatís your opinion of that? What seems to be the

reason why we havenít moved in that direction? Is it part of the Legislature?

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DOMINGUEZ: Well, I think,

as weíve mentioned, Mr. Chairman, the statute does provide that itís just

general -- the State Superintendent of Weights and Measures has general

oversight of the county weights and measures offices. So we have a limited

capacity to oversee their enforcement of the regulations.

I know that the State Superintendent issues directives and orders to

the counties, but then it really is -- it lays at the county level to enforce them

and to implement those directives.

MR. CAMPANELLI: Essentially, theyíre independent operations

that function under the same State law. To the extent that we have general

supervision, we can provide that guidance on enforcement. But, again, theyíre

individual government entities who are, really, responsible for the actions of that

particular local weights and measures.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: It was earlier testified that some of the

members of the Association have stores in every county, or various counties, etc.

And then thereís -- the same stores stay in business, same chain, etc. But thereís

varying degrees of enforcement, or what have you. And thatís, obviously,

something that should be taken up. It doesnít make an awful lot of sense to me

to have that kind of irregularity or lack of uniformity in the enforcement of this.

And I think itís something that we, certainly, need to look into strengthening --

that area.

17

The last thing, before we move on to the other ones-- Who enforces

the date stamps, for instance: use before, sell by? Who has responsibility for

seeing to it that those are on--

MR. CAMPANELLI: Mostly, those would be Federal.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Iím sorry?

MR. CAMPANELLI: We donít have sell-by dates, per se, here in

New Jersey. We do have some laws that govern some sell-by dates if you exceed

them, but itís extremely limited. It really depends on what the Federal standards

are.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: The dates that are stamped on--

MR. CAMPANELLI: Yes, for the most part, they are not-- Itís very

strange. It says sell by, but thereís really no magic attached to that, as far as

whether or not the product is any good or not. For example, if youíll notice, as

far -- for milk, letís say, for example, New York state has a different date than

New Jersey. And itís, sort of, like, not arbitrary, but itís fixed to some formula,

which is not familiar to me. But if youíll notice, they do vary. And, again, we

have limited -- very, very limited authority over products that exceed that,

although we do have some.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Mr. Morford would like to say

something on that.

MR. CAMPANELLI: Yes, he--

MR. MORFORD: Mr. Chairman, I guess I need to be near a

microphone.

MR. CAMPANELLI: You want to sit here?

18

MR. MORFORD: Very briefly, many of the so-called sell-by dates

are put on by either manufacturers, processors, or even the stores themselves, as

an internal guide, because they do not like to have their merchandise go beyond

a certain time frame on the shelf. So theyíre not necessarily governed by, as Bob

said, Federal law -- a few things are -- but theyíre mostly for internal control.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: That applies to eggs, produce, etc.?

MR. MORFORD: Yes.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: One thing I have noticed is that some

of the -- they vary. For instance, from neighborhood to neighborhood, as a

matter of fact. There are times when the sell-by date is almost totally ignored

in certain areas. It seems as though they move the product out to other stores --

undesirable stores -- and bring in fresher products. I donít know whether thatís--

MR. MORFORD: I donít know about that practice, but I do know

that Assemblyman -- doctor--

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Munoz?

MR. MORFORD: No, from Burlington County.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Oh, Conaway.

MR. MORFORD: Conaway, Iím sorry.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Some days--

MR. MORFORD: Isnít it time to retire when you forget important

names like that?

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Sometimes he goes as a lawyer,

sometimes he goes as a doctor. So itís, kind of, hard to keep up with him.

MR. MORFORD: Thatís right.

19

He did have legislation on that, that we worked with him on last

session, I believe. And it does address re-dating, and is important in that regard.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you.

Weíd like to hear, now, from the Department, on the Office of

Emergency Management -- the issuance of directives, and the relationship to

counties and municipalities.

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DOMINGUEZ: Mr. Chairman,

I have Nick DiRocco, from the Attorney Generalís office, that will be able to

speak to that issue.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Just identify yourself again, please.

D P T Y. A T T . G E N E R A L D O M I N I C K D i R O C C O:

Good morning.

Iím Nick DiRocco. Iím with the Attorney Generalís office.

I didnít, really, have prepared testimony, but I did want to make

one quick note to the Committee, sort of, for the benefit of you, while you go

through these proceedings.

Currently, the Legislature is in the process of completely revamping

and overhauling the Disaster Control Act, which is a law under which these

OEM directives are promulgated. Right now, weíre working closely with

Assemblywoman Quigley on that legislation, and we hope to have a completed

product soon. I just tell you that so that you know, during these proceedings,

thatís, sort of, an overarching issue that you may want to keep in mind -- that

the entire law is going to be revamped at some point.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Do we have any--

20

Let me-- Again, from the New Jersey Association of Counties, we

have testimony regarding the emergency management--

L O R E N W I Z M A N: Good morning, Mr. Chairman.

Iím Loren Wizman, from the New Jersey Association of Counties.

And with me, I have Vince Jones, whoís the Legislative Chairman of the New

Jersey County Emergency Management Coordinatorsí Association, who would

like to address a couple issues.

V I N C E N T J. J O N E S: Good morning, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for

the opportunity to come and speak to you on the emergency management

directives.

As stated, the Emergency Management Act in New Jersey -- which

governs the State, county, and municipal emergency management officials -- is

currently being revamped, rewritten to update it, bring it more into tune with

whatís happening on the Federal and State level around the country.

One of the important things that we wanted to see happen was--

A lot of the State Office of Emergency Management-issued directives, which

basically give us our, kind of, day-to-day duties, responsibilities at the county

level, at the municipal level, in regards to our day-to-day functions -- our

planning functions, local emergency planning committees, again, which are all

outlined in these directives.

Weíre hoping that these directives are looked at, some of the more

important ones -- theyíre all important -- but some of the ones that really need

to be taken a look at, and also brought into play into that Emergency

Management Act, to include a little bit more teeth, if you will, for these

directives. These are State-issued directives. Sometimes, it lends some problems

21

where you would go out in an attempt to work with the municipality or a

county office of emergency management. Some of these mandates, through

these directives-- You want to try to get them to do their planning, and their

response, and the coordination. You, kind of, run into a wall sometimes, where

theyíre not really law, and you could-- It hasnít happened. Weíve worked

through it. But, in essence, you could have a municipality or county say, "We

donít have to follow these. Weíre not going to do this," because theyíre really

not law. And weíre hoping that these directives are included and, really, looked

at, because they do give us our day-to-day guidance.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you.

Ms. Wizman, do you have anything?

MS. WIZMAN: No, thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Do we have any questions or

comments from the Committee members relative to the Office of Emergency

Management? (no response)

If not, we will ask the representatives from the Attorney Generalís

office to please come up and give their perspective on this area.

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DiROCCO: I guess our basic

thoughts are this: once the Disaster Control Act is revamped, it is our plan to

take a look at the OEM directives, and to reduce them to administrative rule

and regulation to the extent that we need to do that. Some of these issues will

be addressed through the statutory rewrite. If thereís any other ambiguous issues

still outstanding at that time, weíll use the administrative process to, sort of, tie

those directives in.

22

We certainly feel that, right now, we do have the authority to issue

directives in that. The directives do subject the counties and locals to the OEM

directorís authority. However, like I said, the entire law is being rewritten

anyway, and weíre going to address many of these issues through the

administrative process.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: You say Assemblywoman Quigley has

a piece of legislation to address this?

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DiROCCO: Correct. I think

itís Assembly Bill 3350 -- I believe is the number. And weíre working with her

office on the rewrite of that bill.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Do we have any other comments? (no

response)

If not, thank you for your presence here today.

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DiROCCO: Thank you, Mr.

Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you.

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL DOMINGUEZ: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Iíd like to welcome Assemblywoman

Cruz-Perez.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN CRUZ-PEREZ: My apologies.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: And also Assemblywoman Myers has

joined us.

And I would like to recognize and welcome Assemblyman Joseph

Doria, who will, in fact, testify -- present testimony and background

information on A-3749, which is a legislation that requires a-- Itís the EMAP

23

legislation, which requires -- revise the requirements of DEP, checklist on

technical manuals -- the EMAP legislation, as itís called.

Mr. Doria, thank you very much, and welcome.

A S S E M B L Y M A N J O S E P H V. D O R I A JR.: Thank you, Mr.

Chairman. Itís a pleasure to be here and to have the opportunity to sponsor this

piece of legislation with you.

A-3749 is an update of the Environmental Management and

Accountability Program. This was a package of bills, which were passed in

1991-92, which dealt with the Department of Environmental Protection. It

established guidelines for the Department, in working with the applicants, to

make sure that the process was much more efficient; and that the process could

be effectively followed by those who applied, as well as the Department, as well

as interested outside parties.

The piece of legislation that we have here today, which you are

prime sponsor of -- Iím co-prime -- basically allows for some changes. The first

change is just a result of the fact that, with the advancements in the area of

technology, we can use electronic transfers of information, and allow for

electronic application forms and the provision of information over the

computers, rather than necessarily by paper. And so what weíre doing here is

advancing the process by, actually, making it quicker, by using electronic

transfers and the computers to not only make application, but also provide

checklists for those items that might be missing -- that would be of concern to

those applicants -- so that they can complete their application. Because unless

an application is deemed completed, you donít begin the time line for the

Department to take action. So thatís the first part of the bill.

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The second part of the bill deals with the Pesticides Control Act,

and deletes some of the requirements of the registration program, again to try to

expedite processes that had previously existed. Itís been determined that there

is no longer as great a need for the process that existed in registration as there

had in the past.

So those are the two elements of this legislation that have been

introduced, that, hopefully, will help to improve and expedite the Environmental

Management and Accountability Program. These bills have been done on a bipartisan

basis, when I was Speaker, and have been helpful to all parties

concerned in meeting the requirements of the Department of Environmental

Protection.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you very, very much,

Assemblyman Doria.

We do have an expression of support from DEP, a letter from the

Commissioner expressing support for this legislation. And weíll make sure thatís

in the record.

Also, Iíd like to call, now, Michael Egenton, from the New Jersey

State Chamber of Commerce.

M I C H A E L E G E N T O N: Thank you, Chairman.

Just briefly, I wanted to acknowledge the work of the Committee;

you, Chairman; and Assemblyman Doria on this piece of legislation.

As it stands now-- The Chamber had some concerns, but as

amended -- with the current version of the bill, which I saw here this morning --

I can pretty much say that the Chamberís in support, and want to acknowledge

25

the history that Assemblyman Doria has behind this bill. And Iím glad to

support it, here, today.

So, thank you, Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you very much.

Sara Bluhm, NJBIA.

S A R A B L U H M: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Also echoing what Michael had said--

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Why donít you identify yourself for the

record?

MS. BLUHM: Sara Bluhm, New Jersey Business and Industry

Association.

Weíve also appreciated the hard work that this Committee has

taken up in recognizing some of the problems and hurdles that businesses have

to face with the Department. And I know Assemblyman Doria was there for us

with the initial drafting of this legislation.

And we appreciate updating and modernizing this as we go. As

many of the permits are going on-line, weíd like those checklists, as well, to be

there and make it more efficient, because itís quickly become an expensive and

drawn-out process for businesses.

So thank you for putting in this bill and for, hopefully, releasing

this today. We support this, as well.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you very much.

I canít believe that you were there when Mr. Doria first introduced

this. (laughter)

26

Hal Bozarth, Chemistry Council of New Jersey.

H A L B O Z A R T H: Iím happy to say I was there, Mr. Chairman.

(laughter)

I just wanted to take a few seconds and remind everybody why itís

so important for Assemblyman Doria to have started this process, again.

In í91, the EMAP process was the first and, to my recollection, only

time the Legislature has used its powers to try to reformulate a process that has

been broke for the 20 years that I have been around, and I testified to that point

before.

Just to bring you up-to-date, itís our understanding that, right now,

in the Department, there are over 1,000 permits backlogged in the air program,

1,000 permits backlogged in the water program, and over 4,000 companies

waiting for the finalization of their site remediation process. In other words,

backlogged. Clearly, a situation that knows no partisanship -- itís a systemic

problem. Thatís why the EMAP process was originally put in place, to try to

solve those problems.

What the Assemblyman is doing here, in the updating format, is

most welcome, and I commend him, once again.

I must tell you, when it comes to the technical manuals that the bill

talks about, Iím looking forward to working with Speaker Doria to develop

another bill, which will help even more in that area.

One of the problems that happens with people in the permit process

is they start; they get down the line six months, eight months; all their

paperwork is in; theyíve looked at the regulations; theyíve figured out how to do

it; and the Department will say, "Well, now we want you to do something

27

different." And when questioned, they say, "Well, itís a policy. Itís a

departmental directive. Itís not in the regulations, but we want you to do it

anyway, because thatís what we want you to do."

In many cases, that just prolongs the process, makes the permittee

start, in effect, over. In some cases, within our membership, weíve found people

who have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for upgraded

equipment, got halfway through the permitting process, and had been told that

they need new things on the equipment that theyíve already bought, thatís

already on their site.

The theory behind Assemblyman Doriaís original technical manuals

bill was so that every piece of information would be in the hands of the

permittee before he started the process. What the Department has done is

continue to ignore that.

Weíll strongly suggest to the Assemblyman that his next attempt of

legislation be, to say that if information is not in the technical manual, or not

in the regulations, then the Department canít deny your permit when theyíve

changed the rules in the game, halfway through the process.

But for this moment, Assemblyman, thank you very much for your

continued help in this area.

I would like to point out that many of the manuals that were

supposed to have been completed by the Department still are not done after all

these years. Some of them are willfully out of date, and many of them need

additional work. What weíre saying is, we donít want to give people more work

to do. Weíre just saying do this work so that all of us can get through the

28

process quicker, and we donít have the thousands of permits that are

backlogged.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Mr. Doria.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you.

The areas of concern -- issues that you have discussed, obviously,

will be taken care -- are being taken care of in additional bills, etc. So weíre sure

that this will be satisfactory in the final analysis.

Thank you.

David Pringle. David Pringle, once; David Pringle, twice. David

Pringle does not seem to be here.

All right, we will give him a moment or two. He doesnít show up.

We will now have comments from the members on this legislation

that weíre considering this morning. (no response)

Do we have a motion?

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Make a motion to move it.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN CRUZ-PEREZ: Second.

MR. VARI: On the motion to -- on Assembly Bill 3749,

Assemblyman Rooney?

ASSEMBLYMAN ROONEY: Yes.

MR. VARI: Assemblywoman Myers.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MYERS: Yes.

MR. VARI: Assemblywoman Cruz-Perez.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN CRUZ-PEREZ: Yes.

MR. VARI: Vice-Chairman Cryan.

29

ASSEMBLYMAN CRYAN: Yes.

MR. VARI: And Chairman Payne.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Yes.

MR. VARI: Mr. Chairman, the motion caries. The bill is released.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN DORIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you

for being the prime sponsor.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN PAYNE: Thank you, Mr. Doria, for all the

contributions youíve made in this area.

Thank you very, very much.

This meeting is adjourned.

(MEETING CONCLUDED)