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The Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”), N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq., requires that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection undertake direct oversight of a remediation of certain contaminated sites when the person responsible for conducting the remediation fails to complete the remedial investigation of the entire contaminated site on or before May 7, 2014. This statutory requirement, which can be found at N.J.S.A. 58:10C-27(a)(3), to complete the remedial investigation on or before May 7, 2014 applies to:
In other words, a large majority of contaminated sites in New Jersey are statutorily required to complete the painstaking process of a site wide remedial investigation in two months from today.
On January 17, 2014, Governor Christie signed P.L.2013, c.283, which allows certain persons responsible for conducting remediation to qualify for a two year extension, until May 7, 2016, to complete the remedial investigation. To qualify for this extension, the applicant must certify to the following:
(a) initial receptor evaluation,
(b) immediate environmental concern source control report,
(c) light non-aqueous phase liquid interim remedial measure report,
(d) preliminary assessment report, and
(e) site investigation report;
All applications for an extension must be submitted to the Department by March 7, 2014. However, according to an e-mail circulated by the NJDEP’s SRRA listserv, the NJDEP will continue to accept "May 7, 2014 Remedial Investigation Complete Timeframe Extension Form" requests through the NJDEP Online portal through March 21, 2014. This extension is due to the large number of weather-related closings that have occurred this winter in New Jersey.
Similar to other portions of the LSRP program that have been unveiled since May 7, 2009, it is unclear how many contaminated sites will end up back in direct oversight of the NJDEP. Furthermore, if that number is large, it is unclear if the NJDEP will have the manpower to oversee all of the non-compliant sites.