Child Care Environmental Regulations Overview

Posted on August 1st, 2013

Current child care regulations can often be confusing due to the involvement of multiple regulatory agencies, as well as the complexity in evaluating what regulations are applicable to the facility based on facility age, prior use, location, etc.  The Department of Children and Families (DCF) requires clearance from the NJDEP/LSRP in all cases and from the Department of Health (DOH) in some cases. The following is a brief summary of the regulations and a description of when they are applicable.   

All child care facilities must conduct an environmental review prior to receiving a license to operate from the DCF.  New child care facilities that are subject to the Madden law must hire a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) to conduct a Preliminary Site Assessment and perform any additional investigation or remediation that is necessary.  The LSRP then will issue an approval of the facility in the form of a Response Action Outcome (RAO).   Most child care facilities are subject to the Madden law.  If any of the following conditions apply then the child care facility is subject to the Madden Law:

    • Renovation/rehabilitation/alteration is being conducted
    • Change in type of property use
    • New construction
    • Location is a known contaminated site
    • Suspected contamination, historic fill, or historic agriculture use
    • ISRA site
    • Former use of Uniform Commercial Codes (UCC) codes F, H, S, B, or M

Child care centers not subject to the Madden law can hire an environmental consultant and submit a Preliminary Assessment to the NJDEP for review and the NJDEP will issue a clearance letter. 

In addition to an RAO, child care facilities may also require clearance from the Department of Health (DOH) as well.  If DOH clearance is required, an Indoor Environmental Health Assessment (IEHA) must be conducted by a licensed consultant.  Clearance from the DOH is required if any of the following conditions are met:

    • The child care center is in a building constructed prior to 1979.
    • The prior or current use of the building and/or property was/is used for industrial, storage, or other high hazard purpose. This includes usage as a nail salon, a dry cleaner or a gas station.
    • The location is on a contaminated site or on a property where contamination is suspected.
    • The center is referred to the DOH by the NJDEP, DCF, or a local construction official (LCO), due to a prior or current use of the building or property which is of concern.
    • The center is co-located in a building with a dry cleaner and/or nail salon.

JM Sorge, Inc.  currently has three (3) LSRPs on staff with extensive experience in issuing child care facility Response Action Outcomes.  In addition, JMS is also licensed by the DOH to conduct Indoor Environmental Health Assessments.

The NJDEP has recently updated the environmental guidance page for child care centers on their website:

The following is a link to the information for child care facilities on DOH’s website:

Amy Blake

Project Manager

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