On August 15, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Site Remediation Program took a big step toward completing the transition from DEP oversight to private oversight of remediation of contaminated sites by releasing a proposed final rule package ("Final Rules") for the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites ("ARRCS") and Technical Requirements for Site Remediation ("Tech Regs").
The privatization process began in 2009 with the adoption of the Site Remediation Reform Act ("SRRA") which called for the creation of the Licensed Site Remediation Professional ("LSRP") program that will supplant the DEP command and control model of oversight. Under SRRA, all sites must be transitioned to LSRP oversight by May 2012.
The Final Rules are intended to amend and replace existing regulations relating to the remediation of contaminated sites to make them consistent with the new LSRP oversight model. The ARRCS rules were developed to replace the former Remediation of Contaminated Sites Rules which governed DEP’s oversight of the remediation of contaminated sites. DEP issued interim ARRCS rules in November 2009 and amended and reissued the interim rules in May 2011. The Final Rules are intended to fully implement the new site remediation paradigm.
In addition to the ARRCS rules, the Final Rules include amendments to other DEP rules that relate site remediation, including the Underground Storage Tank rules, Industrial Site Remediation Act Rules and Discharge of Petroleum and Other Hazardous Substance rules. Perhaps most significantly, the Final Rules will repeal and replace the current Technical Requirements for Remediation of Contaminated Sites ("Tech Regs") with new regulations that are, in the words of DEP, "a more performance-based set of rules that will allow more flexibility in addressing contamination and potential exposure pathways while continuing to ensure that remediation is conducted in such a way that the results are protective of human health and the environment." DEP has been developing many new technical guidance documents to assist LSRPs in administering these new performance-based goals.
DEP will accept comments on the Final Rules through October 14, 2011. A public meeting is scheduled for September 13, 2011 at 9:30 am in DEP’s Trenton offices.