The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) created the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program in 2009 to help expedite the cleanup of contaminated sites. The LSRP program was created by the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), which was signed into law in May 2009. The program gives LSRPs the ability to oversee the day to day management of remediation sites, rather than waiting for NJDEP approval to proceed.
After over a year of growing pains in which far fewer remediation professionals applied to become licensed than was initially expected, the NJDEP is now putting on the pressure to speed up the remediation of 16,000 known contaminated sites. Responsible parties (those who caused the contamination or owners of the property) of known polluted sites that are not under the direct oversight of the NJDEP must hire an LSRP to oversee the remediation by May 2012. The NJDEP will require that all existing spill sites, even those that have been under continuous remediation prior to the 2009 enactment of SRRA, will be required to enroll in the LSRP program by May 2012.
Licensed Site Remediation Professionals are required to meet the same stringent cleanup standards as previously established and are bound by a strict code of ethics; however, the process of remediation will proceed much more quickly under this new program as they do not need approval from the NJDEP for routine decisions. This is a welcome change for industrial and commercial property owners and developers that are eager to achieve site closure and return properties to highest and best use.
I am currently overseeing several sites in the LSRP program such as: a multi-family residential property with a failed heating oil tank; a commercial office space with a chlorinated solvent spill underneath the building; and a former gas station / auto service station which will be redeveloped into a grocery store. Based on my 30 years of remediation experience, the cleanup process under the LSRP program has been much smoother and swifter, and is much appreciated by our clients.
A public hearing on the proposed new rules to accelerate the LSRP program is scheduled for September 13 at the NJDEP in Trenton.
Feel free to email me if you have a question about the LSRP program, [email protected].