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Responsible Parties Conducting Remediation Must Have an LSRP by May 7, 2012

March 23, 2012

Responsible Parties Conducting Remediation Must Have an LSRP by May 7, 2012

On May 7, 2009, then New Jersey Governor, John Corzine, signed into law the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq., which mandates broad changes in the process of remediating contaminated sites in New Jersey.  The most significant change is the introduction of the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program, which transfers significant authority in the remediation process from state regulators at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) into the hands of LSRPs, which are professional engineering consultants that are licensed by a newly-created Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board. 

After the program takes full effect, in addition to proposing and implementing remediation plans, LSRPs will be approving many decisions formerly under the discretion of regulators at the NJDEP, where LSRP submissions of materials on behalf of responsible parties will be subject to random audits by NJDEP.  Currently, if a responsible party conducting remediation of a site began and continued remediation from before November 4, 2009, these existing cases have the option of remaining under NJDEP Case Manager oversight until May 7, 2012 or “opting in” early to LSRP oversight.  In contrast, new cases, where remediation began after November 4, 2009, must obtain an LSRP and will not be assigned a NJDEP Case Manager.  Also, after May 7, 2012, all responsible parties remediating a site in New Jersey will be required to retain an LSRP to oversee and direct remedial work.  Following SRRA, many New Jersey regulations were updated and, on November 4, 2009, the NJDEP adopted interim rules regarding investigation and cleanup work to be followed by persons responsible for the remediation of a site:  Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (or ARRCS), N.J.A.C. 7:26C, and the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (or the “Technical Regs”), N.J.A.C.7:26E.

In addition, SRRA replaces the previous provision of a No Further Action letter (or NFA) with a Remedial Action Outcome (or RAO) and eliminates the Voluntary Cleanup Program in New Jersey and accompanying Memorandums of Agreement (or MOAs).  SRRA also introduces regulatory and mandatory time frames, within which certain remedial investigations and work must be completed to avoid NJDEP direct oversight, with the threat of potential enforcement and sanctions.  Notably, NJDEP Case Managers have already begun to transition to other areas of the NDJEP, including its enforcement department, meaning that the NJDEP will now have increased manpower and time to address contaminated sites that have remained idle in the remediation process. 

This new LSRP program is nothing short of revolutionary in the way site remediation will be carried out in New Jersey, and the Office of Howard Davis, PC has and will continue to closely monitor and comment on the changes taking place.  Our goal is to ensure that our clients’ interests are protected during and beyond this transitional time for site remediation practice in New Jersey, which includes working with environmental consultant LSRPs to continue to serve our clients’ remediation needs in conjunction with their new regulatory function.  Our staff continues to attend and participate in seminars and meetings hosted by the NJDEP and the newly-founded LSRP Association, of which we are a member.  Additionally, we have been following the latest developments and changes to technical regulations and NJDEP guidance documents for LSRPs, and we will continue to comment on them and provide updates to our clients.  For the latest information on how the SRRA program and newly evolving rules and regulations promulgated under its authority will affect you and your site remediation plans, please contact the Law Office of Howard Davis, P.C. at phone: (201) 541-9737 or email: info@envirolawyer.net