In May 2009, the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) was signed into law by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.
The act established the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program in the hopes of reducing contamination and returning contaminated or underutilized properties back to use. The LSRP program created licensure guidelines for qualified remediation professionals. SRRA made it a requirement that LSRPs provide direct oversight of remediation. SRRA also created the Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board to license qualified professionals to perform remediation. The Board oversees the performance and conduct of LSRPs.[i]
SRRA has been extremely beneficial for statewide remediation and contamination cleanup, making processes more concrete and clear. On August 23rd of this year, NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill (SRRA 2.0) that makes several amendments to the original regulatory framework for the first time in 10 years.[ii] The provisions include:
- Public Notification Requirements: Responsible parties are now required to notify the public prior to the start of the remedial investigation phase, rather than prior to potential remediation work. This allows the public and NJDEP to know when there is a question of potential contamination even if the investigation determines no contamination.
- Direct Oversight: SRRA 2.0 clarified that direct oversight of a remediation site remains the same throughout the project, with a few exceptions. The NJDEP can modify direct oversight if:
- The person responsible for conducting the remediation cannot afford the remediation
- There is a public emergency that results in a delay in meeting the determined time frame or another situation that affected direct oversight
- They determine that the oversight modification is in the public interest and benefits public health and safety
- Green and Sustainable Practices: SRRA 2.0 encourages the use of green and sustainable practices during the remediation of a contaminated site.
- Surety Bonds: The updated legislation introduced a new funding source for remediation called surety bonds, which are now an option for property owners.
- LSRP Credentialing Requirements: Included in SRRA 2.0 were a handful of updates to the requirements of an LSRP. These included:
- At least 3 years of full-time professional experience in the state of New Jersey within 5 years prior to the submission of the application
- Those who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes involving breach of trust or similar crimes are excluded from becoming an LSRP
- Those who have had a professional certification revoked or have surrendered a professional license or certification in response to a disciplinary investigation in the last 10 years are also excluded from becoming an LSRP
- LSRP Remediation Management Guidelines: Additionally, SRRA 2.0 prohibits a non-LSRP to perform remediation unless the remediation is managed, supervised, or periodically reviewed and evaluated by an LSRP. The LSRP can only manage, supervise, perform, engage, or participate in the remediation if they were retained by the person responsible for the remediation and the NJDEP was notified or if the LSRP was retained by the person responsible for the remediation and the NJDEP was notified.
- LSRP Notice Requirements: The amendment also clarifies that if the LSRP obtains knowledge of an immediate environmental concern and knows the person responsible for the remediation, the LSRP must inform the person responsible to notify the NJDEP of the concern.
These changes may seem minor individually, but they will make a positive impact moving forward. A number of these rules have already been in place unofficially, so signing them into law makes it that much easier for proper remediation to take place. For more information on EBI’s site investigation and remediation (SIR) services, or if you’re in need of an LSRP, check out our SIR page or email [email protected].