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.