New Jersey Department Of Environmental Protection Announces New Rules For Site Remediation

by: Thomas Spiesman 

On August 15, 2011, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") published proposed rules that represent the final step in the implementation of the 2009 Site Remediation Reform Act ("SRRA"). The SRRA completely overhauls the way environmental investigations and remediations are conducted in New Jersey and introduced the Licensed Site Remediation Professional ("LSRP") program.

The proposed final rule package completes the transformation of the site remediation process from one of NJDEP command-and-control to one that allows for decision-making to be placed in the hands of LSRPs hired on behalf of the remediating party.  LSRPs are responsible for overseeing remediations in accordance with NJDEP regulations, making the day-to-day decisions regarding the remediation of sites, and determining when a cleanup is complete.  Although the NJDEP maintains oversight of remediations and reviews documents submitted by responsible parties and their LSRPs, the responsible parties and their LSRP are allowed to continue with the remediation without waiting for NJDEP approval.

The proposed new Technical Requirements are intended to ensure that remediation is conducted in a way that is protective of human health and the environment, while allowing the party responsible for cleaning up the site and the LSRP flexibility in addressing the different types of sites, contaminants, potential exposure pathways, and geographic settings within the State.  In addition to the proposed Technical Requirements, the NJDEP is producing multiple guidance documents.

Comments on the new rules may be submitted to the NJDEP until October 14, 2011 and the Department anticipates adopting the final rule package by May 2012.

Sewer Service Stunting Growth

by:  Katharine A. Muscalino

If the economy and local land use regulations didn’t make development hard enough, some counties and municipalities have discovered the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s June 2009 Water Quality Management Rules as another technique to inhibit growth and property development in New Jersey. The Water Quality Management Rules require counties, and some municipalities, to closely examine sewer service within their borders, and limit expansion of that service when possible. Counties have applied the DEP’s rules to remove undeveloped properties from the sewer service areas in their wastewater management plans, and to limit demand from sewered properties to the gallonage they currently produce.

Holmdel has taken the Water Quality Management Rules a step farther in its attempts to limit the possibilities for the redevelopment of the Alcotel-Lucent corporate campus, by arguing that the campus should not only be limited to its existing gallonage, but that sewer service should be limited to the existing corporate buildings’ footprints. This limitation would not only cap the size of the future development and its sewer service demand, but would also significantly limit the potential for new uses, and particularly residential use, on the site. If Holmdel succeeds in this aggressive wastewater management planning, it will have serious ramifications for the future of the property and its marketability.


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NJDEP Proposes Common-Sense Waiver Rule

by:  Thomas Spiesman

   In furtherance of Governor Chris Christie's Executive Order No. 2 that seeks to establish "Common Sense Principles" to govern New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has proposed a rule to enable it to remove unreasonable impediments to economic growth while ensuring net environmental benefit for the State.  The rule, which is available online here,  would permit the NJDEP to waive strict compliance with regulations in certain limited circumstances that do not compromise protections for the environment or public health. 


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