NJDEP Increasing Scrutiny on Remedial Action Permit Reviews

Posted on August 22nd, 2019

Any time you are remediating a site in New Jersey and leave some level of soil or groundwater contamination in place to be monitored by institutional and/or engineering controls, a Remedial Action Permit (RAP) is required to be issued by NJDEP. The submittal of a RAP application is usually one of the last steps in the remediation process and is typically submitted with a final Remedial Action Report. Once the required RAPs are approved by NJDEP, the LSRP can then issue a Response Action Outcome (RAO) which closes the case.

While LSRPs still direct the remediation of contaminated sites, the review and approval of RAPs is one area in the remediation process where NJDEP is still heavily involved. NJDEP reviews and approvals of RAPs typically take upwards of 6 months to complete. Lately it appears the NJDEP has become more stringent in their approval process. Every quarter, the NJDEP releases metrics documenting the amounts of RAP application submittals received, withdrawn, rejected or approved, as a matter of public record. Michelle Bouwman, a Project Manager with JMS, evaluated this data, and produced the below graph to evaluate the percentage of RAP approvals over time:

As you can see from the graph, the percentage of RAP rejections was relatively stable from 2015 until 2018. However, over the past year the percentage of permit rejections increased from approximately 10% to 25%. So, it appears NJDEP is being more scrutinous of RAP applications than in the past. This is why it’s important to select an LSRP with a comprehensive understanding of all relevant NJDEP guidance and regulations, in order to minimize the risk of a RAP rejection and project delays. With five (5) LSRPs on staff, JMS continues to stay apprised of all changes in regulations in order to provide the highest level of service to our clients.


Thomas Burke

Project Manager, JM Sorge, Inc.

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