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Get the facts about opting-in to the LSRP program.
Faced with the challenge of ensuring that more than 20,000 contaminated sites in New Jersey are properly remediated in a timely manner, the Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) worked closely with the New Jersey Legislature and stakeholders to develop legislation that will dramatically change the process used to conduct environmental investigations and cleanups. On May 7, 2009, Governor Jon Corzine signed the Site Remediation Reform Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq. [pdf] (“SRRA”) into law. The Governor also signed Executive Order #140, implementing the new law.
SRRA, which provides sweeping changes to the way in which sites are remediated in New Jersey, also amends other statutes such as the Brownfield and Contaminated Sites Act [pdf] and the Spill Compensation and Control Act [pdf]. SRRA, establishes a program for the licensing of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (“LSRPs”) who will have responsibility for oversight of environmental investigation and cleanup. While the law changes the process of how sites are remediated, it ensures the same stringent standards required for cleanup remain intact. The NJDEP will retain significant authority over the remediation process and will ensure that LSRPs comply with all applicable regulations, but the day-to-day management of site remediation will be overseen by qualified LSRPs.
Under SRRA, NJDEP approval is no longer required prior to proceeding with remediation. Implementation of SRRA will therefore result in contaminated sites being cleaned up more quickly, thus providing a greater measure of environmental protection to the citizens of New Jersey and ensuring that development of underutilized properties are returned to the tax rolls more quickly.
Some of the highlights of the law are:
- The establishment of a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (SRP) program and an LSRP Board that issues licenses to qualified individuals to conduct the remediation of sites in New Jersey. The Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) are bound by a strict code of ethics, violation of which could result in the assessment of penalties as well as suspension or revocation of their licenses. When the Act becomes fully effective in 2012 all remediating parties must use the services of a LSRP and must proceed with the clean up of their site without prior NJDEP approval.
- An affirmative obligation now exists on persons to remediate any discharge for which they would be liable pursuant to the Spill Compensation and Control Act. As such, the voluntary cleanup program which utilized Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs), no longer exists.
- The NJDEP is required to establish mandatory remediation timeframes for the completion of key phases of site remediation.
- The NJDEP is required to maintain direct Department oversight in cases in which the remediating party is recalcitrant in conducting timely cleanups and for those sites that pose the greatest risk to human health and the environment.
- The NJDEP is authorized to establish presumptive remedies for residential development, schools and childcare facilities.
The Act requires the NJDEP to phase in implementation of the use of LSRPs by remediating parties. All parties initiating remediation after November 3, 2009 or who opt into the use of the LSRP paradigm will be required to follow the provisions of SRRA which are codified at N.J.S.A. 58:10B-1.3b 1-9, including the requirement to hire a LSRP to conduct the remediation, and the requirement to remediate the site without prior NJDEP approval. All parties who initiated remediation prior to November 3, 2009 will not be required to hire a LSRP to conduct the remediation right away. Remediation of those sites will follow the remediation process with traditional NJDEP oversight and approvals until 2012. All parties remediating sites on or after May 7, 2012 will be required to follow N.J.S.A. 58:10B-1.3b 1-9.