In the pre-LSRP world, property owners (i.e., Responsible Parties) and consultants worked at varied paces. Many remediation projects were conducted under the voluntary cleanup program and even in cases where the cleanup was required, the NJDEP rarely used enforcement measures to force responsible parties and property owners to move expeditiously on low risk sites. Environmental projects would often stagnate because the necessary resources were not available or while waiting for NJDEP to respond on submissions.
A lot has changed. Remediation projects that were inactive or forgotten are now being assessed in a very different environment. The most obvious change for property owners and responsible parties is the role of the LSRP. The LSRP, however, is only part of it. It is important to recognize that the shift in the NJ environmental policy is streamlining the entire site remediation and maintaining the basic promise of protecting the environment and human health.
With the enactment of the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA)an “affirmative obligation” now requires cleanups be completed when contamination is identified. In addition SRRA sets a timetable for many aspects of the cleanup. For example, the first big push was the requirement that a Receptor Evaluation be submitted for every site by March 2012. The NJDEP is checking to make sure that responsible parties are keeping up on these compliance points, and many Responsible Parties found themselves actively soliciting LSRPs to satisfy this requirement. Many of those that did not were flagged and contacted by the NJDEP.
The next big compliance point was the retention of an LSRP. This was required by May 2012, and again, many responsible parties were scrambling to retain an LSRP and maintain compliance. Much of this work was done on cases that would have otherwise continued to go unmanaged.
Additional timeframe requirements for completion of the remedial investigation phase of a project will begin to really drive project activities. Depending on the nature of your case (ISRA, UST, Spill Act, etc.) the time frames vary, but require that your remedial investigation be complete anywhere from 2014 to 2017. This may seem like a long time from now, but for a Responsible Party that has not been actively pursuing remediation, these dates will soon be right around the corner.
Since the enactment of SRRA, JMS has assisted many responsible Parties in successfully closing many cases that sat dormant for 10 or more years. Give us a call if we can be of assistance on your old project.
Jim Vander Vliet; PE, LSRP