Thursday, December 23, 2010

NJDEP overhauling its contaminated site cleanup rules

If you are a New Jersey licensed site remediation professional or a business with an interest in a property that will require a cleanup, you'll want to pay close attention to the following excerpt from a recent news article published by the Gibbons law firm.

Department of Environmental Protection Invites Comments on
Major Overhaul of Rules Governing Clean-ups

By: Edward F. McTiernan, David A. Brooks and Uzoamaka N. Okoye

In 2009, faced with a staggering number of incomplete clean-ups and dwindling public resources, the New Jersey Legislature decided to try its hand at privatizing the clean-up process. The Site Remediation Reform Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1, et seq. (“SRRA”) established a program whereby oversight of remediation is transferred from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) to private Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (“LSRPs”) over a period of three years.

Shortly after adoption of this statute NJDEP put in place (without public comment) an interim set of rules - the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (“ARRCS”) - which presently govern the private oversight of clean-ups as well as the transition of cases to LSRPs.

The ARRCS are due to expire in the spring of 2011 and NJDEP has been working to develop a proposal for final clean-up rules. On December 15, 2010, NJDEP posted a working draft of the proposed amendments to the ARRCS, the Industrial Site Recovery Act rules (“ISRA”) and the Underground Storage Tank rules (“UST”).

When formally promulgated, these new amendments will replace the interim rules and bring all of the various rules governing clean-ups into conformity with SRRA. There will be a formal comment and response period when the final proposed amendments are published in May 2011. The draft proposal can be found on the NJDEP’s website at Stakeholders are invited to submit comments by January 14, 2011.

Parties who are involved in the investigation, remediation and/or redevelopment of contaminated real estate may want to review this draft proposal to get a better sense of the issues presented by the use of LSRPs and an insight in NJDEP’s approach to SRRA. Anyone who has in the past worked with the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation may want to consider these rules and provide comments. Everyone who works with, or represents, responsible parties or deals with clean-up questions should stay tuned for the formal rule proposal in 2011. Read the entire Gibbons article here 

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