NJDEP Soil Remediation Standards to Be Updated

Posted on December 7th, 2016

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will be proposing changes to the Soil Remediation Standards this spring (2017), with adoption of the changes expected the following spring (2018).  These changes are the result of an evaluation of policies that relate to equations and models used for exposure pathways, equation default parameters and an evaluation of the existing contaminant list and numeric standards.  The hierarchy of toxicity data, Class C carcinogens, significant figures and the rounding protocol were included in this evaluation.

Dr. Barry Frasco, Assistant Director, NJDEP Hazardous Site Science, advises that 13 current contaminants will be deleted.  The toxicological values for six of these contaminants are no longer supported by USEPA.  Five of these contaminants are rarely detected and are not on the USEPA Target Compound List (TCL). The remaining two contaminants will be treated as a mixture.

Dr. Frasco further advises that 16 contaminants will be added, including 12 contaminants that are on the TCL and four contaminants that are commonly detected but are not on the TCL.  He cites three contaminants of interest; dioxins, extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH) and 1,4-dioxane.

The evaluation of the current Remediation Standards also included a review of exposure pathways, including the migration of contaminants from soil to groundwater and to indoor air, as well as an evaluation of the processes establishing alternative remediation standards, interim remediation standards and updating the remediation standards.  New technical guidance for the development of Alternative Remediation Standards will be made available.

Existing guidance documents on impact to groundwater, soil-water partition, Synthetic Participation Leaching Procedure (SPLP), immobile chemicals and the SESOIL contaminant transport model will remain as guidance and will be available for use, as will the current compliance and attainment guidance.

These changes will be included in a rule amendment that will allow for a “phasing in” of the new standards.  Remedial action work plans and remedial action reports that use the older standards must be certified by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) and submitted to the NJDEP within six months of the effective date of the rule amendment.  In addition, the older standards applied must meet the order of magnitude requirements when compared with the new standards and remedial actions must be completed by the mandatory timeframes.

This rule change is the result of 13 meetings between the NJDEP and invitation-only stakeholders.  Information on these meetings and draft rule changes, as well as meetings on other priority issues, is found at

We hope you find this useful.

Stephen Kehayes

Senior Manager

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