The Immediate Environmental Concern (IEC) Technical Guidance is currently being updated. The NJDEP has provided stakeholders with a draft of the updated guidance (Version 2.0, January 2018) for review and comment. The majority of the Guidance has remained unchanged, except for the addition of a new section in the draft version. Section 4.1 Potable Well IEC Technical Guidance Procedures has been added to discuss the obligations and requirements when contamination is discovered in a potable well that is used for human consumption. This can be either a public supply or a production well.
The Guidance notes that public supply wells are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:10) and these rules specify that State and Federal Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) determine potability of a well, not Groundwater Remediation or Groundwater Quality Standards (GWRS/GWQS) that are regularly used by environmental consulting and engineering firms throughout New Jersey.
There may be an instance when a compound in one of these wells exceeds the GWRS/GWQS but not the MCL. In these cases, NJDEP states that IEC rules should still apply and must be followed by the investigator/consultant. The Department’s Hotline (1-877-WARN DEP) should be called (pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:26E-1.11) and IEC submittal timelines come into effect. The investigator/consultant should also contact the owner of the well as soon as possible and discuss potential remedies.
Production wells used for human consumption are regulated by the New Jersey Department of Health and the U.S Food and Drug Administration. If contaminants in these wells warrant an IEC, the investigator/consultant should notify the owner of the well as soon as possible and discuss possible remedies as they would with public supply wells.
This updated IEC Guidance is still in a final technical review period and should be posted to NJDEP’s website within the coming months. A link to the current IEC Guidance (March 2005, Version 1.1) is provided in the link below.
Project Manager-JM Sorge, Inc.