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Mandatory Obligation to Remediate Now Exists under Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA)

March 23, 2012

Mandatory Obligation to Remediate Now Exists under Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA)

A mandatory obligation to remediate is but one of the many significant changes to environmental remediation that took place with the passage of the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq., in May 2009.  In addition to the oversight of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) in lieu of such from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), SRRA now places affirmative obligations on a variety of actors to remediate contaminated property. 

N.J.S.A. 58:10B-1.3(a) states:

An owner or operator of an industrial establishment . . . , the discharger of a hazardous substance or a person in any way responsible for a hazardous substance pursuant to [the New Jersey Spill Act], or the owner or operator of an underground storage tank regulated [under New Jersey law], that has discharged a hazardous substance, shall remediate the discharge of a hazardous substance.

Prior to SRRA, an obligation to report the discharge of a hazardous substance existed for parties, however, no mandatory obligation to remediate existed in such a broad and clear way under New Jersey law.  As a result, property owners and operators, especially those dealing with industrial properties, now face mandatory obligations in a wide variety of scenarios that could be enforced by the NJDEP or sanctioned for lack of compliance.  Further, in addition to the general obligation to remediate, SRRA and New Jersey regulations now dictate regulatory and mandatory time frames regarding the timing when specific remedial actions must take place.  These actions include environmental investigations and cleanup work where the regulatory and mandatory timeframes vary depending on the date of a discharge or commencement of remediation as defined under different New Jersey environmental statutes and regulations.  For advice regarding whether your remediation obligations are compliant with SRRA and applicable regulatory and mandatory timeframes, contact the Law Office of Howard Davis, P.C. at phone: (201) 541-9737 or email: info@envirolawyer.net