Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature yesterday passed legislation authorizing the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to license environmental engineers to oversee
the cleanup of contaminated sites.
The Licensed Site Professional legislation, expected to be signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine, is the work of the Legislature's top two environmental leaders, Senator Bob Smith and Assemblyman John McKeon.
Both lawmakers have been working on the legislation for several years, overseeing numerous versions, amendments, and public hearings with parties both supporting and opposing the legislation.
Smith and McKeon introduced their bills after declaring the state's present site remediation program--which has a backlog of more than 20,000 sites--to be broken beyond repair.
Once enacted, the legislation, S1897 /A2962 is expected to help the DEP cut into backlog, create employment opportunities in the consulting and construction fields and return so-called brownfield properties to the tax rolls and productive uses.
The legislation has been opposed by the state's primary environmental organizations. It has been supported by the Corzine Administration, the DEP, and most segments of the business community, including environmental engineering firms.
Arguments pro and con are available in our previous posts
(see below) and in reader comments.
State poised to privatize toxic cleanups
Contractors to oversee waste cleanups
NJ Licensed Site Professional bills advance
NJ Licensed Site Professional bill's encore
Will New Jersey see Licensed Site Professionals?
Op-Ed: LSP stands for ‘Lets Stay Polluted’
Op-Ed: New Jersey needs licensed site professionals
Editorial: An imperfect but needed solution
N.J. looks to outsource waste site cleanup
Bills aim to speed enviro-cleanups in New Jersey
Hiring a Licensed Site Professional in Massachusetts
Licensed Site Professional Association (Web Site)