World Health Organization Lowers Recommended Action Level For Indoor Radon Gas from 4.0 to 2.7

October 13th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Radon LevelBased on recent studies on indoor radon and lung cancer, the World Health Organization is recommending that homeowners remediate radon levels that exceed 2.7 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).  WHO’s prior threshold  — and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current recommended action level –  is 4.0 pCi/L.   According to WHO, radon is the second cause of lung cancer in the general population, after smoking, and epidemiological studies have provided convincing evidence of an association between indoor radon exposure and lung cancer, even at the relatively low radon levels commonly found in residential buildings.   » Read the rest of this entry «

Site Remediation Reform Act: What Does Executive Order No. 140 Add to the Licensend Site Remediation Professional Program?

October 6th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Site Remediation Reform Act - Executive OrderAs with any new and major environmental law, the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) had its share of critics from all ends of the political spectrum.  The New Jersey environmental activist community was among the most vocal objectors to certain aspects of the proposed Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) legislation.  Executive Order No. 140 was designed by the Governor’s Office to ease the concerns of the environmental groups. » Read the rest of this entry «

Site Remediation Reform Act: How Will the Act Impact the NJDEP’s Voluntary Cleanup Program

October 1st, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Site Remediation Reform Act 11SRRA effectively abolishes the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) for responsible parties by 1) creating an affirmative obligation to remediate the discharge of a hazardous substance and 2) requiring remediation activities to be performed in accordance with mandatory remediation time frames and/or expedited site specific time frames.

Prior to the enactment of SRRA, owners and operators of contaminated properties in New Jersey had several potential remedial options, depending upon the circumstances: » Read the rest of this entry «

Site Remediation Reform Act: Why is Direct Oversite by NJDEP a Bad Thing?

September 28th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

2009-02-17 Transfer 082If things go according to NJDEP’s plans, all but a handful of sites will proceed through remediation at a much faster pace under the direction of newly minted Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) and without intervention by NJDEP (except through performance of the occasional audit).  LSRPs will meet mandatory time frames, implement LSRP-selected remedies or any presumptive remedies, where applicable, and issue the Response Action Outcome (RAO) confirming that remediation is complete.  In a few circumstances, however, NJDEP will remain involved in and have direct oversight of the remediation process.  SRRA makes that oversight mandatory in certain cases. In other cases, NJDEP will be able to assume direct oversight at its discretion. » Read the rest of this entry «

Site Remediation Reform Act: How Will a Response Action Outcome Issued by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional Differ From a No Further Action Issued by the NJDEP?

September 25th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

2009-02-17 Transfer 095The No Further Action Letter or NFA is a familiar document to the regulated community and its lenders in New Jersey.  A certain comfort level has developed over time with the NFA issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).  As with any new regulatory concept, the introduction of the Response Action Outcome (RAO) issued by a newly permitted Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) will undoubtedly cause some initial concern. » Read the rest of this entry «

Site Remediation Reform Act: How will SRRA Affect my Relationship With or Use of Environmental Consultants?

September 24th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Site Remediation Reform Act 3Currently, the majority of persons that have responsibility for remediating contaminated sites engage one or more independent environmental consultants to perform the actual remediation work and to provide technical advice and support when dealing with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).  Now, pursuant to SRRA, “persons responsible for conducting remediation” (PRCR) (i.e., the client) are required to hire a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) (i.e., the client’s environmental consultant) to oversee and approve the remediation.  Already, some environmental consulting firms are working on having their employees licensed as LSRPs and soon some PRCRs may discover that environmental consultants they currently employ have become LSRPs.  A newly constituted Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board (Board) will regulate the conduct of LSRPs and insure their compliance with the many provisions of SRRA intended to guide or govern LSRPs’ decision-making.  The new LSRP program raises several issues concerning how the relationship between PRCRs and the environmental consultants they hire will look going forward: 

  • how best to protect the interests of PRCRs in their communications with LSRPs;
  • whether to devote additional in-house resources to overseeing remediation projects and the work of the LSRP;
  • how to manage client and consultant expectations for identifying remedial issues, documenting choices, and resolving disagreements;
  • whether to hire an independent consultant to oversee or conduct remediation work; and
  • how to navigate between LSRPs and independent consultants. » Read the rest of this entry «

Site Remediation Reform Act: When do I Need to Hire an Licensed Site Remediation Professional?

September 21st, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Remediation Reform Act 2Eventually, the requirement to hire an Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) pursuant to the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) will apply to virtually everyone conducting a remediation. Moreover, an LSRP cannot be a salaried employee of the person responsible for conducting remediation, so the LSRP must be someone outside the company.  The time for hiring an LSRP depends on your circumstances:

  • Do you have a “new” case where remediation was initiated after May 7, 2009?
  • Do you have an existing case where there has been NO remedial activity in more than two years?
  • Have you received a final order from NJDEP after May 7, 2009, for penalties concerning remediation or a demand for stipulated penalties under an exiting oversight document?
  • Do you have an existing case where remedial activity has been ongoing?

So that you may determine your own site remediation strategy, it is important to understand how NJDEP will approach these different circumstances and how it plans to proceed with implementation of its new remediation paradigm. » Read the rest of this entry «

The New Site Remediation Reform Act: Questions & Answers

September 18th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Remediation Reform Act 1The investigation and clean up of contaminated sites in New Jersey will never be the same.  Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s May 7, 2009, adoption of the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) started a new chapter in the state’s environmental regulatory history.   Under SRRA, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) takes on a significantly reduced level of direct oversight with respect to the vast majority of cleanups.  In such cases, the NJDEP will no longer be issuing No Further Action letters, or (NFAs).  Rather, qualified private consultants will be authorized as Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs), and these professionals will conduct and approve the cleanup of the contaminated sites. LSRPs will issue Response Action Outcomes, or (RAOs), to certify completion of the investigation and cleanup of a contaminated site in accordance with state standards.  Each LSRP’s work product and approved RAOs may be subject to an audit by the NJDEP and a newly formed Licensed Site Remediation Professional Board and its NJDEP staff. » Read the rest of this entry «

Development Rights Restricted by New Sewer Service Area Maps, But Help May Be On It’s Way

August 10th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 3| comments:

Sewer Service Area By Ellen Radow Sadat, Esq.

If you own real property in New Jersey that is not fully developed, Wastewater Management Plans (WMPs) currently being prepared this Fall by county governments (or NJDEP in the case of plans for Bergen, Burlington, Passaic, Union and Warren counties) may adversely impact the value of your property and its development potential.  WMPs establish Sewer Service Areas which identify the properties that will be served by wastewater treatment systems.  Properties such as corporate campuses, educational campuses, industrial parks, golf courses, residential developments, or vacant land that are currently within a Sewer Service Area could be re-designated to a non-Sewer Service Area, drastically devaluing the property, potentially impacting financing, and effectively eliminating future development options. » Read the rest of this entry «

Only a Few Weeks to Go: NJ Deadline for Public Notice of Site Remediation Looms

August 5th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Redevelopment - DirtBy Joseph Schmidt, Esq. 

If you are working on a remediation project that started prior to September 2, 2008, at a contaminated site in New Jersey, you have only a few weeks left to provide the public with notice of your site remediation activities.  The deadline for compliance is September 2, 2009.  The recent amendments to the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (Tech Rule Amendments for Public Notice) require those responsible for performing remediation of contaminated sites in New Jersey to: » Read the rest of this entry «

New DEP Sewer Service Area Maps Spell Disaster for Planning, Economic Growth and Development

July 6th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

Sewer Service Area One of the most significant obstacles to economic growth and development in New Jersey has gone largely unnoticed and if not properly addressed, could jeopardize commercial, residential and industrial growth, and undermine New Jersey’s hope for future economic stability and vitality.  Amendments to the Water Quality Management Planning Rules in 2008 have resulted in an overall shift in how water resource planning is implemented throughout the state.  The new rules are designed to shape development patterns in New Jersey through the designation of sewer and nonsewer waste water disposal areas.  The serious impact of the rules is only now coming to light with the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) introduction of a proposed, dramatically revised Sewer Service Area Maps.  The new maps, currently in draft form, are substantially different than the current maps, removing many undeveloped or partially developed properties from current designations as Sewer Service Areas.   The bottom line is that many properties that are not fully developed, such as golf courses, educational campuses, industrial parks and corporate campuses that are currently within a Sewer Service Area would be redesignated to a non-Sewer Service Area, drastically devaluing the property, potentially impacting financing and effectively eliminating future development options.  Many of the map changes directly conflict with municipal zoning ordinances, master plans and even approved General Development Plans, removing key components that will have a critical impact on a municipality’s fiscal health and in some cases drive N.J. corporations that have purchased sufficient land for future growth around existing facilities to look to relocate outside of the State. 

» Read the rest of this entry «

Tree Removal Ordinance Aimed at Developers Upheld by the New Jersey Supreme Court

June 5th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

Tree OrdinanceThe New Jersey Supreme Court recently upheld the validity of a Township ordinance that requires developers to replace the trees they remove during development or pay a fee into a special “tree escrow fund” dedicated to planting trees and shrubs on public property. In the case of NJ Shore Builders Association v. Township of Jackson, the state Supreme Court overruled decisions by both the Appellate Division and trial court that found the ordinance invalid because requiring developers to pay a fee for planting trees on public land bore no relationship to the stated purpose of the ordinance – to counter environmental hazards of clear-cutting trees.  The lower courts found that the payment of the fee to plant new trees and shrubs on public property did not ameliorate the negative effects of removing trees on private property.  The NJ Supreme Court disagreed, however, indicating that the Township’s exercise of the police power was rationally related to the broad environmental goals of ordinance. The court viewed the ordinance as a generic environmental regulation and not a planning or zoning initiative that implicates the Municipal Land Use Law.  » Read the rest of this entry «

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