New state regulations will soon take effect on public notification of contaminated sites in New Jersey that are undergoing remediation. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has adopted amendments to the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (N.J.A.C. 7:26E) to require persons/entities responsible for conducting the remediation of a contaminated site to perform public notification and outreach at the onset of the remedial investigation phase (see N.J.A.C. 7:26E-1.4 and 1.11). For sites where the remedial investigation or remedial action phase was initiated prior to September 2, 2008, the remediating party must comply no later than September 2, 2009.
The recent amendments to the Technical Requirements require remediating parties to:
- Identify all sensitive populations and resources within 200 feet of the site boundary and complete a Sensitive Population Resource Checklist. (Checklist)
- Generate a scaled map with the location of the site and identifying each sensitive population and resource found.
- Determine if a language other than English is predominantly spoken by property owners in the area within 200 feet of the site, and record this on the Checklist.
- Determine if the site is located where an Environmental Justice Petition neighborhood has been designated by EPA or the New Jersey Environmental Justice Task Force.
- Post a sign at least two feet by three feet near a street or sidewalk at the site or, in the alternative, mail notice to property owners within 200 feet of the site.
- If off-site contamination is involved, the remediating party must also prepare a fact sheet with detailed information about site remediation – this sheet must be distributed to property owners and tenants within 200 feet of the site. The fact sheet must also be published as an advertisement display in a local newspaper.
- Within two weeks after the sign is posted, the remediating party must submit a Site Information Form and a photograph of the sign to the NJDEP case manager, NJDEP Office of Community Relations, Clerk of the Municipality where the site is located and the Designated Local Health Official.
- At least two weeks prior to initiating field activities, the remediating party must submit a paper copy and an electronic copy of the Checklist and map to: (i) the NJDEP case manager (if one has been assigned); (ii) the DEP Office of Community Relations; (iii) municipal clerk; and (iv) designated local health official.
With deadlines fast approaching, parties responsible for remediating sites or parties that own or operate sites that are being remediated by third parties should be aware of − and should achieve compliance with − these new requirements.