This week, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe announced the launch of a campaign to help municipalities and communities manage fill material — soils trucked in for developments under construction, landscape projects, or for use on private residential properties. At the heart of the “Guard Your Backyard” campaign is a dedicated website with local guidance and a model ordinance that municipal leaders can download and modify to suit their local needs. Enacting ordinances can give local governments the authority to determine what kind of fill material may be brought into their communities.
“The Guard Your Backyard campaign empowers our local partners and residents with guidance on the steps they can take to ensure the fill used in their communities is clean and safe,” said McCabe. “Establishing local regulations is a first line of defense against municipal dumping and can be quite effective in preventing illegal activity. We are pleased that many of our local partners have already enacted their own ordinances to build upon DEP’s model ordinance to design the best regulatory solution for their municipality. No one knows the diverse communities of New Jersey better than their local leaders.”
In addition to the model ordinance, the website provides a detailed, easy-to-follow list of what is and isn’t considered solid waste under state law; specific actions that can be taken to enforce soil regulations or report illegal dumping; and examples of municipal laws regulating soil.