Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Transactional Real Estate, Development/Redevelopment & Environmental Law

Tag Archives: SRRA

New Jersey Supreme Court Finds Neither Plan Approval Nor Complete Remediation are Prerequisites to a Spill Act Contribution Action

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
In Magic Petroleum Corporation v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that a party funding remediation of a contaminated site may bring a contribution claim against other potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) before completing remediation and prior to receiving the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP’s”) written approval of the remediation plan. In so doing, the Court has provided certainty, to a degree, to the environmental remediation process in New Jersey… Continue Reading

Remedial Investigation Extension Application Deadline Further Extended to March 21, 2014 by NJDEP

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) has announced that it will continue to accept applications for the two year extension from the May 7, 2014, deadline to complete remedial investigations until March 21, 2014, due to the high number of weather-related statewide closings. Originally, applications had to be filed with NJDEP by March 7, 2014. … Continue Reading

Remedial Investigation Deadline Extended to May 7, 2016 if Conditions Met

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
A number of Responsible Parties are breathing a sigh of relief. On January 21, 2014, Governor Christie signed legislation authorizing a two year extension for Responsible Parties to complete their remedial investigations before risking being placed under direct oversight of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The deadline has been extended from May 14, 2014, to May 7, 2016, under certain circumstances. Pursuant to the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), the deadline applies to all site investigations or preliminary assessments that are being conducted to address discharges or contaminated areas of concern that have been or should have been identified on or before May 7, … Continue Reading

May 14, 2014 Remedial Investigation Deadline Approaching for Discharges Discovered Prior to May 7, 1999

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Many Responsible Parties will be scrambling to meet the May 7, 2014 deadline to complete their remedial investigations. Failure to meet the deadline risks that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will undertake direct oversight of an entire contaminated site. Pursuant to the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), the May 2014 deadline applies to all discharges or contaminated areas of concern that have been or should have been identified on or before May 7, 1999, due to an obligation to complete a site investigation or preliminary assessment… Continue Reading

May 7, 2014 Remedial Investigation Deadline Approaching for Discharges Discovered Prior to May 7, 1999

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Many Responsible Parties will be scrambling to meet the May 7, 2014 deadline to complete their remedial investigations. Failure to meet the deadline risks that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will undertake direct oversight of an entire contaminated site. Pursuant to the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), the May 2014 deadline applies to all discharges or contaminated areas of concern that have been or should have been identified on or before May 7, 1999, due to an obligation to complete a site investigation or preliminary assessment… Continue Reading

Action Required: NJDEP Implements New Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") recently issued new vapor intrusion screening levels ("VISL") and related guidelines, which will have an immediate impact on existing remediation sites. The screening levels were updated to reflect the changes in toxicity values and risk-based equations set forth in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's ("USEPA") most recent Regional Screening Level ("RSL") Tables. NJDEP implemented the new VISL as of January 16, 2013. Parties conducting remediations and their Licensed Site Remediation Professionals will need to analyze how these new screening levels impact their sites… Continue Reading

Final ARRCS Rules Adoption Published in NJ Register

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
To fully implement the Site Remediation Reform Act, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has published a notice of adoption of amendments to the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (ARRCS rules), N.J.A.C. 7:26C in the New Jersey Register today, May 7, 2012. This adoption also amends several other rules related to site remediation in New Jersey, including the repeal and replacement of the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, N.J.A.C. 7:26E, and amendments to the Industrial Site Recovery Act rules, N.J.A.C. 7:26B. This rule adoption is concurrent with the final May 7, 2012 deadline for almost all remediating parties to engage a Licensed Site Remediation Professional to conduct remediations in … Continue Reading

Cause for Concern? NJDEP to Score Contaminated Sites Under the Remedial Priority Scoring System

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") will soon release scores for contaminated properties pursuant to the Remedial Priority Scoring ("RPS") system. The RPS system was mandated by the Spill Compensation and Control Act (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.16) as amended by the Site Remediation Reform Act ("SRRA")… Continue Reading

NJDEP Clarifies Impact of Site Remediation Reform Act on Requirements of Administrative Consent Orders and Remediation Agreements

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
With full implementation of the Site Remediation Reform Act on the horizon, the New Jersey Department Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently clarified that for parties currently proceeding with remediation under NJDEP oversight pursuant to an Administrative Consent Order (ACO) or Remediation Agreement (RA), such parties will be expected to engage a Licensed Site Remediation Professional no later than May 7, 2012. Any ACO/RA requirements to obtain NJDEP pre-approval of reports and workplans will be held in abeyance. Likewise, any ACO/RA specific timeframes will also be held in abeyance. Instead, responsible parties must meet all regulatory and mandatory timeframes prescribed in applicable rules. However, the ACO/RA will otherwise remain in effect until the remediation is complete or covered by a remedial action permit and parties will be subject to, among other requirements, the remediation funding source requirements and stipulated penalties… Continue Reading

NJDEP to Issue Draft Remedial Priority Scores for Contaminated Sites

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
In the next few weeks, responsible parties for some 12,000 known contaminated sites in New Jersey will be receiving a letter with a draft Remedial Priority Score (RPS) for their particular site compliments of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The NJDEP has not specified how the rankings will be used, although the RPS system has been described by the NJDEP as "a triage tool to sort sites for further consideration."… Continue Reading

NJDEP Proposes New Rules for Site Cleanups

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
On August 15, 2011, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued proposed Final Rules to implement the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) adopted in May 2009. These rules are intended to be the final implementation step in the phased transition of New Jersey's site remediation process from NJDEP command and control to private oversight by Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs). Instead of NJDEP overseeing every step of a cleanup, the LSRP, licensed by a 13-member Licensed Site Remediation Professional Board with investigative and disciplinary powers, is responsible for making day-to-day decisions about a clean-up. Certain categories of cleanups remain under NJDEP oversight, such as where the responsible party has a history of non-compliance or has failed to meet mandatory deadlines. The rule proposal appeared in the New Jersey Register on August 15, 2011 and can be viewed online. Comments can be submitted until October 14, … Continue Reading

Six New Jersey Communities Will Share $3.4 Million in EPA Brownfield Grants

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The EPA has announced that six different New Jersey communities will receive a total of $3.4 million under the agency's brownfield grant program in FY 2011. The grants will fund assessment and cleanup efforts at contaminated sites so that the sites can be returned to productive use. The grant program, part of EPA's larger brownfield efforts, will award some $76 million in grants this year, and has awarded over $800 million since its inception. New Jersey's grants will fund activities at thirteen sites or areas in Newark, Jersey City, Trenton, Elizabeth, Mantua Township, and Maurice River Township… Continue Reading

NJDEP Licensing Board Sets April 18 Deadline for Comments on LSRP Audit Process

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The Audit Committee of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board is soliciting comments on its draft process and questionnaire for the completion of statutorily required audits of the work of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs). The Committee is accepting comments until April 18, 2011. The Board intends to finalize the process and questionnaire at its May 2, 2011 meeting… Continue Reading

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Proposes Waiver Rule for Economic Growth

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
Today, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) published a proposed rule outlining circumstances in which the department would consider a waiver of environmental regulations that stand in the way of economic development. NJDEP will be holding a hearing on the proposed rule on April 14, 2011, at 3:00 pm… Continue Reading

NJDEP Site Remediation Implements Steps to Increase Permit Efficiency

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
One perennial criticism leveled at the Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") is that it takes too long to issue permits. There have been a long list of initiatives intended to ensure that the NJDEP makes permit decisions which are predictable and timely. Indeed, Commissioner Martin has repeatedly commented on the need to ensure that NJDEP perform efficiently and focus on servicing all stakeholders - including applicants, and included this goal in his 2010 Vision Statement for the department. At long last, NJDEP appears to be taking concrete steps to implement efficiencies in the permit process. On January 27, 2011, NJDEP announced that it would begin to tackle this problem by changing the way it processes the most common land-use permits for contaminated sites and landfill closures… Continue Reading

NJDEP Announces Availability of New Forms for Site Remediation Program

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
On January 13, 2011, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Site Remediation Program will release new and updated forms for use by those conducting site investigations and cleanups. The forms -- which already number in the dozens -- must be used when information is submitted to the Program, and were developed pursuant to the requirements of the Site Remediation Reform Act. Interested parties will be able to see the new and updated forms by visiting a dedicated webpage, scrolling down or clicking on "Current Forms," and noting the version and date for each form… Continue Reading

NJDEP Seeks Early Input on Revisions to Site Cleanup Rules

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is seeking input from all interested stakeholders as it develops proposed revisions to three separate sets of regulations that govern site cleanups: the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites ("ARRCS") rules,which were drafted to implement the Site Remediation Reform Act; the regulations covering cleanups under the Industrial Site Recovery Act ("ISRA"); and the rules for cleanups involving underground storage tanks. NJDEP's call for public input represents an unusual opportunity to affect the agency's plans as the proposals are being drafted. Three members of the Gibbons Environmental Team have already published a detailed analysis of important issues raised by NJDEP's working drafts… Continue Reading

USEPA Soliciting Comments on Guidance for Institutional Controls

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Institutional controls, regulatory limits on human activity at a site, go by many names. The Department of Defense uses the term "land use controls." ASTM E2091-00 has elected to use the phase "activity and use limitations." Traditional real estate lawyers often think in terms of "covenants" or "easements." Here in New Jersey, the Site Remediation Program uses the term "Deed Notice," while the Freshwater Wetlands Permit Program has adopted the term "Conservation Restriction or Easement," N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4. Whatever name they go by, institutional controls are intended to regulate human behavior and are used to supplement environmental remediation efforts by reducing the risk of unintended exposure to residual contamination. As a result, institutional controls are critical to the redevelopment of contaminated real estate and cost-effective clean-ups… Continue Reading

What is NJ’s LSRP?

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
After over a year since its creation, the nature of New Jersey's Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) is still unclear. The program, signed into law in May 2009, removes the responsibility for oversight of clean-ups of contaminated sites from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to a cadre of licensed privately paid professionals. NJDEP will retain direct oversight of more complex sites and will resume direct oversight of LSRP sites under certain circumstances. It will take some time for the kinks in the program to be worked out. Depending on who you speak to, the view of what the LSRP is differs… Continue Reading

Irv Freilich and Susanne Peticolas to Speak on New Jersey’s LSRP Program at ABA Regional CLE Workshop

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Irv Freilich and Susanne Peticolas, Directors in Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, will be panelists at ABA's upcoming Regional CLE Workshop on October 27, 2010, titled "The Road Ahead: The Obstacles and Pitfalls to New Jersey's Implementation of the LSRP Program" at Seton Hall Law School… Continue Reading

NJDEP Proposes Relief From Site Remediation Reform Act Requirements

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
On October 4, 2010, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) formally proposed revisions to the Site Remediation Reform Act's (SRRA) interim rules. The revisions impact two important components of the interim rules: remediation deadlines and vapor intrusion investigations. These technical amendments are based upon stakeholder input and are intended to reduce the burden on the regulated community and New Jersey's newly minted Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs)… Continue Reading

The Lighter Side of LSRP: Opportunity to Reduce Remediation Funding Source in New Jersey

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
With the advent of New Jersey's LSRP program comes an added financial benefit for environmental remediation matters requiring a remediation funding source ("RFS"). There is an opportunity to save on the statutory annual 1% surcharge on an RFS, especially useful for those sites subject to the requirements of the Industrial Site Recovery Act… Continue Reading

NJ LSRPs Open to Frivolous Claims

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Despite the new licensing program for environmental consultants in New Jersey, they still remain open to professional tort claims without the necessity of an affidavit of merit. As required by N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-27, a plaintiff making a claim for malpractice or negligence against a "licensed person" must provide an, "affidavit of an appropriate licensed person that there exists a reasonable probability that the care, skill or knowledge exercised or exhibited in the treatment, practice, or work that is the subject of the complaint, fell outside acceptable professional or occupational standards or treatment practices."… Continue Reading

Tic, TAC, No Dough for Innocent Landowner in NJ Who Sells Property Before Brownfield Grant

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
Last year, the Appellate Division in TAC Associates v. NJDEP, 408 N.J. Super. 117 (App. Div. 2009) had held that an applicant under the NJ Brownfield Innocent Party Grant, N.J.S.A. 58:10B-5, need not be a landowner at the time of application for such Grant. In so ruling, the Appellate Division invalidated NJDEP regulations that imposed an ownership requirement, a requirement absent from the underlying statute… Continue Reading
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