The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) held its 12th Annual Regulatory Update Conference on November 22, 2013. The conference provided brief regulatory updates from a number of NJDEP departments and programs including:
- The Environmental Management Program
- The Site Remediation Program
- Air and Hazardous Materials Compliance and Enforcement
- The Division of Air Quality
- The Bureau of Air Quality Planning
- The Office of Environmental Justice
- The Bureau of Environmental Evaluation & Risk Assessment
- The Emission Statement Program
- The Office of Science
Several key points of particular note are summarized below.
Update to Remediation Standards in 2014
The Site Remediation Program advised that NJDEP intends to update its remediation standards under N.J.A.C. 7:26D, which are currently scheduled to expire on June 2, 2015. NJDEP’s goal is to readopt the regulation with amendments. NJDEP is in the process of evaluating its existing policies to determine if changes are needed, in particular, its hierarchy of toxicity data, modifications to its existing list of contaminants, the number of significant figures applicable to environmental data, and rounding protocols. NJDEP is evaluating the existing equations and models it currently applies to contaminant exposure pathways. NJDEP will also evaluate the potential inclusion of additional exposure pathways including ingestion and inhalation. The target date for the initial “kickoff” meeting with all interested stakeholders is February, 2014 and NJDEP plans to publish a rule proposal by December 2, 2014.
Soil Impact to Ground Water Guidance Developments for 2014
The Site Remediation Program also addressed NJDEP’s Soil Impact to Ground Water Guidance. NJDEP recently released version 2.1 of its Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure to Develop New Jersey Site-Specific Impact to Ground Water Remediation Standards, which became effective April 24, 2013. NJDEP will update the default Dilution Attenuation Factor, which is targeted for completion at the end of 2014. It also anticipates the development of a modeling option that will treat soil contamination and ground water contamination together by Spring, 2014. Finally, NJDEP is evaluating whether capping could be a remedial option under certain situations for soil impact to ground water, which it anticipates concluding by early Summer, 2014.
NJDEP is also reevaluating the Licensed Site Remediation Program (“LSRP”) to ensure that it is operating efficiently. NJDEP plans to launch a suite of online systems including systems for fee payment, retention/release of an LSRP, discharge reporting, General Information Notice submission, tank closure, and Remedial Investigation Report submission.
Vapor Intrusion Guidance
With regard to Vapor Intrusion, NJDEP presented a high-level review of the new Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance. NJDEP highlighted certain portions of the guidance, specifically, that an attenuation factor is now applied to petroleum hydrocarbon (“PHC”) screening levels to account for the subsurface aerobic biodegradation of PHCs. NJDEP further underscored that analysis for 2-methylnaphthalene in connection with investigation of kerosene, jet fuel, diesel fuel, fuel oil No. 2, and heavier petroleum products is no longer required under the new guidance, however, the Technical Rules have not yet been updated to remove this requirement. Until the rule has been updated, the new guidance advises that the investigator can apply a variance pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:26E-1.7 to avoid performing this analysis. A more detailed report on the new guidance was previously published on this blog and may be found here.
A complete conference agenda may be found here.
We will continue to monitor the various proposed dates described above and will report any updates on this blog.
Sandro G. Ocasio is an Associate in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department.