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10th anniversary of the Site Remediation Reform Act

The enactment of the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) in 2009 established the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program and changed the process of how sites are remediated in the state of New Jersey. With the primary goal of reducing the threat of contamination to public health, the cleanup program has also demonstrated success in returning underutilized properties to productive use.

Because of the efficiencies of the new cleanup paradigm, the Site Remediation and Waste Management Program (SRWMP) has been able to focus on other priority initiatives, such as conducting receptor evaluations and other publicly funded actions, working with diverse partners in urban communities to support brownfield redevelopment, and streamlining the process of obtaining a No Further Action letter for unregulated heating oil tank cleanups through rule amendments.

In 2009, there were over 20,000 known contaminated sites. After the LSRP program was fully implemented (May 2012), there were still over 14,400 known contaminated sites, of which nearly 9,000 were LSRP cases. At the end of 2018, SRWMP reported 13,707 contaminated sites and set its goal of keeping this number below 14,000 active cases. Of these sites, 10,850 were active LSRP cases.

Perhaps one of the best measures of reducing the threat of contamination to public health is the total number of cases closed by issuance of a final remediation document (a No Further Action Letter or Response Action Outcome). From 2009 to 2018, more than 38,000 cases were closed.

The Unregulated Heating Oil Tank Program closes an average of 2,500 to 3,000 cases per year. In addition, because these cleanups are often associated with a real estate transaction, DEP strives for a quick turnaround time, reducing the average to just 3 to 4 days to issue the No Further Action letter.

Lastly, LSRPs work in phases to complete remediations. LSRPs have issued more than 13,500 Response Action Outcomes, certifying that remediation was completed in accordance with New Jersey’s statutes and DEP’s rules and standards.

Other highlights:

  • SRRA established the Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board (Board). The Board has licensed over 700 LSRPs that conduct remediation and hold as their highest priority the protection of public health and safety and the environment. The Board also oversees the performance and conduct of LSRPs.
  • Immediate Environmental Concern (IEC) cases are the highest priority of the program. From May 2009 through March 2019, DEP closed 766 IEC or Vapor Concern cases, which includes publicly funded cases as well as cases handled by a private remediating party.
  • The Department established mandatory and regulatory remediation timeframes for the completion of key phases of site remediation. From May 2009 through April 2019, over 55,500 key documents have been inspected and/or reviewed by the program. Of these, more than 9,600 receptor evaluations have been completed, ensuring that receptors are protected.
  • SRWMP has implemented innovative techniques and programs to get responsible parties back into compliance. One example is the Municipal Ticketing Program, in which cases are resolved in just 3 to 6 months. In fact, in 2018, 53 summons were issued with a compliance rate of 72%.
  • SRWMP has developed eleven online services to accept report and form submissions electronically. This has resulted in 55,516 electronic submissions since June 2012 which expedites the remediation process and also eliminates the costs associated with printing and mailing the reports to the Department.
  • SRWMP maintains 68 DataMiner reports which allow users to track most aspects of a case from creation through issuance of a Remedial Action Outcome.
 

To report an environmental incident impacting NJ, call the Toll-Free 24-Hour Hotline
1-877-WARNDEP / 1-877-927-6337

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