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Ocean Dumping

Charged With Illegal Dumping in the Ocean

Monmouth County is partially surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. To protect this natural resource, oceanfront municipalities in the county strictly enforce illegal dumping into waterways like the Manasquan River, Shrewsbury River, Sandy Hook or on beaches along the Jersey Shore. Just this past Spring, two international shipping companies plead guilty to ocean dumping and agreed to pay over ten million dollars in fines. These types of offenses are not always on such a grand scale and arise more often with recreational fisherman and boaters. Notwithstanding, a conviction for ocean dumping results in a felony criminal record and the possibility of a state prison sentence under N.J.S.A. 58:10A-49. If you were arrested or charged with illegal dumping aware in Monmouth County, including Brielle, Keyport, Belmar, Atlantic Highlands, Middletown or Sea Bright, you should call our criminal defense firm. Our former prosecutors and skilled criminal attorneys can help you avoid a conviction and preserve your future. The following is some important information that you probably would like to know about this charge.

How Does the Prosecutor Prove Ocean Dumping?

The purpose behind N.J.S.A. 58:10A-49 is to prevent pollution and protect marine wildlife by imposing strict penalties for any violations of the offense. An individual is guilty of ocean dumping if they intentionally:

  1. dumped the alleged material
  2. into an ocean water or New Jersey or entered to ocean water of New Jersey

The term “material” refers to a multitude of objects. Included in the this definition is: material, solid waste, incinerator residue, garbage, sewage, sludge, munition, radioactive materials, rock sand, and other waste. Additionally, the term “ocean water” constitutes those waters of open seas lying seaward of the base line from which the territorial sea is measured, as provided by the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone.

The following six (6) activities do not trigger a violation for ocean dumping:

  1. The disposition of any effluent from any outfall structure to the extent that the disposition is regulated by the provisions of the Water Provision Control Act;
  2. A routine discharge of effluent incidental to the propulsion of, or operation of motor-driven equipment on, vessels;
  3. The construction of any fixed structure or artificial island or the intentional placement of any device in ocean waters, or on the submerged land beneath those waters, for the purpose other than disposal, when the construction or placement is otherwise regulated by federal or State law or occurs pursuant to an authorized federal or State program;
  4. Deposit of fish, shellfish, or other animals or plants, or their body parts, for the purpose of developing, maintaining, or harvesting fishery, plant or shellfish resources and is otherwise regulated by federal or State law or occurs pursuant to a federal or State program;
  5. The discharge of sewage as defined pursuant to 33 U.S.C.A. 1322;
  6. Any dumping activity permitted and not violative of the provisions of the federal “Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972”, or other State or federal law.

What Grade is an Ocean Dumping Offense?

Individuals charged with ocean dumping will face a crime of the third degree. This is an indictable offense in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

What Penalties Will Someone Face for Ocean Dumping?

In Monmouth County, if convicted, you will face between three (3) and five (5) years of incarceration. In addition to a term of imprisonment, a convicted defendant will also be subject to a fine up to $15,000, as well as, additional fines and penalties that are in accordance with other environmental protective legislation. As a third degree crime, a conviction for this offense carries a presumption of non-incarceration, though this presumption may be overcome by the State.

If you are facing an ocean dumping charge arising in Bradley Beach, Spring Lake, Monmouth Beach, Red Bank, Rumson or anywhere else in Monmouth County, you are encouraged to contact our criminal attorney for immediate assistance. Lawyers on our defense team are available 24/7 for free consultation.