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Historic Fill in New Jersey

Posted on January 20th, 2014

Contaminated historic fill material is fairly common in New Jersey. Historic Fill Quadrangle Maps for New Jersey that show where the fill material is located are available here: www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/geodata/dgs04-7.htm. The areas shown on these maps are not exclusive and it is possible that a property outside of the mapped areas can have fill material.

Contaminated historic fill material is fairly common in New Jersey. Historic Fill Quadrangle Maps for New Jersey that show where the fill material is located are available here: www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/geodata/dgs04-7.htm. The areas shown on these maps are not exclusive and it is possible that a property outside of the mapped areas can have fill material. The presence of historic fill can be confirmed visually by installing shallow test pits. Remediation of contaminated historic fill material is required if the fill material is discovered during a remedial investigation of a site, when a site is subject to the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA), or when a property owner is seeking a whole site Response Action Outcome (RAO).

The property owner can assume that the historic fill material is contaminated or they can confirm it is contaminated by collecting samples of the fill material and having them analyzed at a certified laboratory. Once the decision has been made to remediate the contaminated historic fill material the LSRP is exempt from contacting the Department Spill Hotline per the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) at N.J.S.A. 58:10C-16k. While the SRRA exempts the discovery of contaminated historic fill from being a reportable discharge, the person responsible (typically the property owner) for conducting the remediation must still remediate the contaminated historic fill material in accordance with the Technical Requirements.  

If a property owner wants a RAO for the historic fill, a Confirmed Discharge Confirmation form can be submitted with historic fill as the contaminated medium. The owner then has two options; either remove all of the fill material or create a Deed Notice. If they choose the Deed Notice route, once the NJDEP issues a Program Interest (PI) number for the property, a Deed Notice including engineering and institutional controls can be created by the LSRP on behalf of the owner. The controls are designed to allow for the continued use of the property and to prevent the exposure to humans of the contaminants found in historic fill material. The next step would be to create a Remedial Action Report that includes the Deed Notice and submit it to the NJDEP in order to obtain a Remedial Action Permit for Soil. Once the permit has been granted the LSRP will then be able to issue a RAO for the historic fill.

James McGarry
JMS Project Manager


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