Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NJDEP proposes changes to site remediation time frames

In the fall of 2009, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) adopted
interim rules governing the remediation of contaminated sites and the role of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs).

Since then, LSRPs and other environmental consultants have reported significant concerns regarding compliance with timeframes in the interim rules.

In response, the DEP as published a proposal to amend the existing rule by extending the compliance time frames, and also has proposed to revise the definition for vapor intrusion Immediate Environmental Concern (IEC) which is says is "the trigger for some time frames related to immediate environmental concerns."

Here is how the DEP, in a compliance advisory issued yesterday, describes the changes:

*The Department has proposed to extend the mandatory time frames contained in the current
rule by one year. There will be only one mandatory time frame, the time frame associated
with the installation of a recovery system for light non-aqueous phase liquids (N.J.A.C.
7:26C-3.3(a)3), that may run prior to the date that the new rules become effective. A person
responsible for conducting remediation who anticipates being unable to comply with this
mandatory time frame should apply for an extension in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:26C-3.5.
*Since some of the regulatory time frames in the current rule may run before the new rule can
be adopted, the Department will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not take
enforcement action against a person for failure to meet a regulatory time frame contained in
the current rule if the time frame for that requirement is proposed for amendment, provided
that the person responsible for conducting the remediation meets the proposed regulatory
time frame.

*The Department has proposed to amend the definition of a vapor intrusion immediate
environmental concern, from a vapor level that exceeds the Indoor Air Screening Level to a
vapor level that exceeds the Rapid Action Levels. The Department has proposed new
requirements and related regulatory time frames for the evaluation and mitigation of
circumstances where a vapor level exceeds the Indoor Air Screening Level but is below the
Rapid Action Level. In light of the anticipated change in the vapor intrusion immediate
environmental concern definition, when a vapor level exceeds the Indoor Air Screening Level
but is below the Rapid Action Level the Department will exercise its enforcement discretion
concerning compliance with current vapor immediate environmental concern requirements
and time frames, provided the person responsible for conducting remediation complies with
the proposed requirements and time frames that pertain to these situations.

*The Department has proposed an amendment to clarify that the requirement to conduct a
preliminary assessment/site investigation applies to a person subject to the Industrial Site
Recovery Act and that the requirement to conduct a site investigation applies to a person
subject to the Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act.

*The Department has proposed an amendment to clarify that the person responsible for
conducting the remediation is required to include in the scope and detail of the initial receptor
evaluation all information known at time of submittal and that that person is then required to
include new findings related to receptor impacts in updated receptor evaluation reports
required pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:26E-1.15(d).


Written comments on the proposed rules amendments must be submitted by December 3, 2010 to:

Leslie W. Ledogar, Esq.
Attn.: DEP Docket No. 06-10-09
Office of Legal Affairs
Department of Environmental Protection


If you are or may be responsible for a site requiring remediation in New Jersey, here's a list of some 400 LSRPs available for a consultation.

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