In 2009, the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) was signed into law allowing for sweeping changes to how and New Jersey tackles environmental site remediation. The goal of the SRRA was to not only increase the pace of remediation, but decrease threat of contamination and as a result, quickly sites to their useful purpose. As of May 7, 2013, all parties remediating sites are required to follow N.J.S.A. 58:10B-1.3b 1-9.
As part of that goal to increase the pace of remediation the SRRA set out to allow remediation to take place under the supervision of a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP). As a result, a remediating party no longer is beholden to the timeframe of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for direction and approvals but can instead can work with and under the supervision of a LSRP (with limited exceptions).
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), as the sole source of oversight, was overburdened due to the large volume of remediation projects throughout the State. Under the new Site Remediation Program, the LSRP is granted a plethora of oversight and decision making freedom. With clear lines of authority, the LSRP Program is an effective and efficient system for both state agencies and property owners in the State of New Jersey.
Overview of the LSRP Program
Under the LSRP Program the DEP, client, and Licensed Site Remediation professional all have specific roles in the site remediation process for each site. The DEP now has the duty to regulate both the Responsible Party carrying out the site remediation and the LSRP, who is providing oversight for this work. This includes inspecting and reviewing LSRP submittals ensuring work is not only In Accordance with (IAW) the Department’s applicable standards and regulations, but within the remediation timeframes.
The actual remediation of the contaminated sites falls into the role of the Responsible Party. They must follow the DEPs applicable standards and regulations while carrying out the remedial design plan based on the oversight of the LSRP. Under this program the party/property owner no longer carries the burden of responsibility. The LSRP provides professional licensed direction for these sometimes complex remediation projects.
An LSRP has the knowledge of the extensive guidelines established by the State and Federal DEP that must be adhered to through the duration of any project. Property owners are subject to a strict code of conduct when remediating projects and an experienced LSRP can provide assurance to the property owner that all of the work is within the confines of these sometimes complex rules and regulations.
Overseeing the LSRP is the Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board, who establishes licensing requirements for site remediation professionals and oversees the licensing and performance of all LSRPs.
An experienced LSRP will help the Responsible Party in the following ways:
- Managing and ensuring regulatory and mandatory timeframes are met. Since there is a serious danger associated with leaving contaminated sites untreated, failure to meet the allotted time frame can result in enforcement action and penalties on the part of the responsible part/property owner.
- An experienced LSRP will ensure that every detail of the Inspection and Review processed is completed.
- With this program, an experience LSRP can provide a responsible party Compliance Assistance. The LSRP will serve as the single Point of Contact with the department for any issues regarding missing or incomplete information.
- An Experienced LSRP can help avoiding direct department oversight. When any of the above are violated, a property is subject to direct oversight, which is not only more onerous but much more costly to the responsible party. Ensuring you are working with an experienced LSRP is critical early on.
- Certain contaminated sites are subject remediation funding source and financial assurance, to ensure completion of the remediation, an experienced LSRP can ensure that a property owner is aware of all the programs available to them.
The implementation of the LSRP Program in the State of New Jersey is a win for all of the parties involved in the strictly regulated and environmentally sensitive site remediation projects. The big winner here is the property owner! No dealing directly with the DEP, no concern over missing items or violating any of the strict rules and regulations, no waiting for lengthy DEP approvals before getting a notice to proceed. Engaging an LSRP on your project allows property owners to move through the remediation phase of their projects quickly and smoothly which ultimately results in a more immediate return on investment.