A lot has changed in New Jersey over the past few weeks in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic. On March 21, 2020 New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 107, which placed additional restrictions on businesses and citizens throughout the state in order to try to contain the spread of the virus.
This executive order has not closed our industry, and JMS is still open and pushing onward through this crisis in order to provide environmental consulting services to our clients. These services are vital to ensure sites are maintaining compliance with environmental regulations, and that human health and the environment remain protected. In response to the pandemic our team is now largely working remotely, and we have implemented additional health and safety protocols in accordance with the CDC and WHO recommendations in order to maintain a safe work environment in the office and in the field.
While the long-term effects of this outbreak are uncertain, we are already beginning to see impacts to our industry in New Jersey. One such impact is that the NJDEP has recently announced they are not fulfilling OPRA file search requests at this time, as their staff is transitioning to work from home, and therefore unable to access the NJDEP’s onsite filing system and archived records. This will directly impact environmental due diligence in the state, including completion of Phase I reports and Preliminary Assessment reports which often rely on obtaining NJDEP records in order to determine if there are any environmental concerns at a site.
Hopefully these setbacks are short lived, but it seems likely that as measures to control the pandemic continue, we will see additional restrictions and limitations on the regulatory functions of state and local governments. JMS will continue to keep you apprised of impacts to our industry as they unfold, and will continue to provide the service and responsiveness we are known for. We are optimistic that together we will get through this stronger than ever. We wish you and yours well as we work through this difficult situation.
Project Manager, JM Sorge, Inc.