Waste Transportation Licensing: A-901 Licensing & Beyond

While nearly every business is regulated to some extent, the waste industry in New Jersey has some of the most stringent regulations and monitoring requirements.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) monitors, regulates, and enforces a wide range of environmental protection laws throughout the State.   The transportation and disposal of waste is one of the major areas which the NJDEP monitors.  One of the primary motivators for the New Jersey DEP’s strict requirements for waste haulers is to eliminate illegal dumping (and thus land and water pollution) and to eradicate criminal activity from the waste removal industry due to a historic connection between criminal activity and the waste industry.

As a result, most New Jersey waste transporters are required to obtain an A-901 license.  Even “exempt” self-generating transporters need to follow DEP rules and complete an “affidavit of exemption” from A-901 licensing requirements.  A self-generator is commonly a person or entity which creates waste as a direct result of its business, such as a construction company which demolishes an old kitchen in order to put in a new kitchen.  The construction company turned the old kitchen into “waste” and now needs to remove the waste in order to make room for it to build the new kitchen.  If the construction company hires an outside company to haul the waste away, there is no issue and generally no requirement for the construction company to be regulated as a waste transporter.

However, if the construction company hauls the waste on its own to a waste facility, it still needs to be registered as a “self-generator,” comply with a majority of the DEP’s regulations for waste transporters on an ongoing basis, and file the affidavit of exemption. 

New Jersey companies which are in the business of hauling waste created by others need to be fully licensed and registered with the DEP as waste transporters.   To become an authorized waste hauler in New Jersey, a company needs to go through a 3-part licensing process.  First, the business needs to complete the A-901 application.  That application itself may have multiple parts, including personal history disclosure statements completed by all owners, officers, directors, and key employees, and multiple levels of business disclosures if there are affiliated companies, etc.  Each person completing a disclosure will also be subject to fingerprinting and a background check by the New Jersey State Police.

Once preliminarily approved for an A-901 license, generally the company must attend a DEP workshop to review the basic rules and regulations of the waste transportation industry. Sometimes (though not in every instance), based upon the company’s application, the DEP may determine that the company needs to also meet with an attorney or other A-901 expert to again review the ongoing obligations of the company to remain compliant with DEP rules and regulations.  This first step in the process (the A-901) can take a significant period of time, and averages about a year, though it certainly can take several months less or more.

Then, the waste hauler needs to complete a CPCN (Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity) application. This second step in the process reviews the anticipated operations of the business including where, when, and how the company expects to operate, and what it anticipates its revenue to be.  (While most waste haulers need to complete this next step, it is not always required, and depends on specifically what type of waste the company plans to transport.)  The CPCN generally takes about a month to be completed.

Once the CPCN is approved, the hauler may move forward with registering its vehicles and equipment with the DEP, obtaining decals to be attached to the equipment and identifying the vehicles as fully licensed and authorized waste transportation units.

Once decals are obtained, the company may commence operations.  However, both the A-901 and CPCN must be updated every year, and vehicles must be registered every other year.

Further, depending on the type of waste being hauled there may be different or additional requirements, such as with medical waste, septic waste, and/or hazardous waste.  There are also local county rules for waste transportation including restrictions on which facilities can be used for depositing waste.

Each step of this process can be difficult and confusing. McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC’s attorneys can assist with navigating each step of the waste transportation licensing process, including general advise, consultation services, and ongoing assistance with updates.

McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC’s attorneys assist solid waste companies in all aspects of their businesses, including the following:

·         Completing and filing New Jersey’s A-901 waste hauler application;

·         Completing and filing the application for a Certification of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN);

·         Giving waste haulers the required training in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s waste related rules and regulations, and providing copies of these rules;

·         Completing and filing the A-901 and CPCN annual updates. 

·         Assisting New Jersey waste companies with maintaining compliance with their ongoing regulatory requirements.

Additionally, we represent New Jersey waste companies in their business operations including:

·         Drafting enforceable and compliant contracts.

·         Collecting unpaid receiveables.

·         Commercial litigation with customers, vendors, competitors and government agencies.

·         Employment litigation.

·         Regulatory compliance.

To obtain assistance, please email us or call (973) 890-0004. 

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