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NJDEP Releases New Guidance for Contamination Suspected to be Unrelated to Site Under Investigation

Posted on October 29th, 2014

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has released a new administrative guidance document outlining protocol to assist Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) and Subsurface Evaluators to address contamination that is suspected to be unrelated to a known discharge undergoing remediation. The administrative guidance document outlines three (3) basic scenarios:

  1. contamination suspected to be unrelated to the subject site is identified on the subject site, and the subject site is not a heating oil tank at a residential property;

  2. contamination suspected to be unrelated to the subject site is identified only off the subject site, and the subject site is not a heating oil tank at a residential property; and

  3. contamination is identified either on or off the subject site and the subject site is a heating oil tank at a residential property.

In each scenario the NJDEP requires that a spill notification be called in to the DEP hotline (1-888-WARN-DEP). The guidance provides different “narratives” when calling in the spill. In scenario #3, for example, the caller should report “an unknown source of contamination has been identified during a residential heating oil tank investigation”.

The Guidance document states that when contaminants are encountered off-site during active remediation and are not suspected to be related to the subject site, there is no obligation of the responsible party to investigate the source of the contamination. The document points out that additional action will be required by the responsible party for the subject site if the source of contamination is ultimately determined to be related to the subject site.

The “Unrelated Contamination” Guidance Document can be found at: http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance/srra/offsite_source_guidance.pdf

Rob Maitner

Environmental Scientist


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