When the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) was enacted in 2009 it provided for the establishment of a Site Remediation Program Licensing Board (SRPLB) to oversee the Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) who would implement the Act. The Act further specified that the SRPLB would be comprised of a diverse group of individuals representing industry, state regulators, academia, the environmental community, and LSRPs themselves. The result being a group of individual possessing a variety of viewpoints which represent all of the various groups affected by the new law.
The SRPLB was first convened on November 15, 2010 and has since worked together towards reaching the common goal of implementing a successful regulatory program which eliminates the current backlog of more than 20,000 known contaminated sites located throughout New Jersey. In accordance with Section 5 of SRRA, the duties of the Board are to include the following:
- review and approve or deny applications for licensing site remediation professionals;
- administer and evaluate licensing examinations for site remediation professionals;
- issue licenses and license renewals;
- establish standards and requirements for continuing education of LSRPs;
- approve or offer continuing education courses, and track fulfillment of continuing education requirements by LSRPs;
- establish and collect fees for examinations, licenses, renewals, or any other services required for the licensing of site remediation professionals;
- adopt and administer standards for professional conduct for LSRPs;
- investigate complaints, impose discipline, and suspend and revoke licenses of site remediation professionals who violate the provisions of SRRA;
- publish and maintain the names and contact information of LSRPs, and a list of site remediation professionals whose license has been suspended or revoked by the board;
- provide public information on the LSRP program; and
- maintain a record of complaints filed against LSRPs and provide the public with information upon request.
Among these duties, the SRPLB was charged with maintaining a strict professional code of conduct by establishing an audit process to insure that each LSRP conducts their work in accordance with the overriding principle of the protection of public health, safety, and the environment above all else. SRRA requires that on an annual basis, at least 10% of all active LSRPs are audited, by the SRPLB, to confirm that the LSRP has conducted their work in accordance with each of the 26 principles presented in the Code of Ethics. This audit is conducted independently from any technical audits that may be conducted by NJDEP relative to a specific project. After a lengthy review process which included several rounds of public participation followed by both oral and written comment periods, the Board is currently in the final stages of approving the audit review process. Once approved, it is anticipated that the LSRP audit process will be implemented beginning in January 2011. Additional information is available at the SRPLB’s website http://www.nj.gov/lsrpboard/ .
Todd A. Huffman