Updates to NJDEP’s Fill Material Guidance for SRP Sites

Posted on May 3rd, 2022

A large excavator stands on a hill

JMS attended the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) webinar, which presented the recent updates to the Fill Material Guidance for SRP Sites. The Fill Material Guidance is one of the key documents LSRPs and other environmental professionals must reference when evaluating the use of fill materials at Site Remediation Program sites. Often the importation of fill or the movement of on-site soils for use as fill is a major component of grading operations at SRP sites undergoing redevelopment. For environmental professionals, the importation of certified clean fill from a licensed facility or quarry is the simplest option from a regulatory standpoint, as this material has already undergone the necessary testing and approval processes for use. However, large amounts of soil on-site are often generated during cutting and grading processes, and the export of excess material on-site and the importation of clean fill can increase costs significantly.

The updated guidance provides additional guidelines for the pre-approval process when using alternative fill from on-site AOCs, sampling requirements for both clean and alternative fill, requirements for a fill use plan, as well as clarification on the use of recycled concrete at SRP sites. The following are some of the main points DEP presented in the webinar:


  • Pre-approval is needed for the import of off-site alternative fill when it does not comply with like-on-like, 75th percentile, or creates and exceedance of pre-remediation topography. If you import off-site contaminants not already present at the receiving AOC, this would constitute an additional discharge and would be considered de facto landfilling.
  • Pre-approval is needed for the movement of on-site alternative fill between AOCs if you are requesting an exception to like-on-like (different contaminants at the donor and receiving AOCs) and 75th percentile requirements. Exceptions to these requirements are permitted if a clean area is created at the donor AOC, and the aerial extent of contamination at the donor AOC is reduced by 25%.

Fill Sampling and Soil Movement

  • Both the donor AOC and the receiving AOC must be sample to establish like-on-like and 75th percentile.
  • Compliance averaging may not be used for fill sampling, however 95 UCL can be used to determine max soil concentrations at each AOC, but NJDEP pre-approval is required.
  • Sample volumes from multiple donor AOCs are considered independent and may not be totaled to determine sample frequency.
  • Importation of PCBs > 1mg/kg is prohibited. However on-site movement between AOCs is acceptable per like-on-like and 75th percentile

CAO/BUD Requirements for Non-Soil Recycled Materials

  • If the non-soil material (such as recycled concrete) meets the like-on-like and 75th percentile requirements, then a CAO/BUD is not required provided that the LSRP certifies it’s use is in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:26E and the Fill Material Guidance for SRP sites.

 Fill use Plans

  • Must be provided for the use of ANY fill, including on-site alternative fill, imported alternative fill, and clean fill.

NJDEP’s webinar can be found here:

If you have any questions about the use of fill material for your projects, please reach out to JMS at (908) 218-0066 or email to learn how we can help.

Timothy Beach
Project Manager


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