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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2004

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

DEP Designates First Cleanup Star Consultants in New Jersey
Program Created to Speed Remedial Work at Contaminated Sites

(04/06) TRENTON --- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced 243 environmental professionals representing 103 companies as Cleanup Stars under a state program to work with developers and responsible parties to expedite site cleanups and redevelopment.

"This first group of 'Cleanup Stars' will help the DEP expedite studies and cleanups at low-risk sites," said Commissioner Campbell. "As part of New Jersey's brownfield site reuse initiative, DEP established rigorous training and professional requirements for the Cleanup Star program that will help reform the role of environmental consultants."

The Cleanup Star program is designed to achieve three main goals: facilitate remediation of low-risk sites; allow DEP case managers to concentrate on high priority cases; and, upgrade the quality of the environmental consulting profession. DEP will audit consultants' work to ensure regulatory compliance.

"The Cleanup Star program will bring faster relief to neighborhoods blighted by contaminated sites and improve the quality of life for local residents," Commissioner Campbell added. DEP held its first orientation session for Cleanup Stars today with Commissioner Campbell providing opening remarks.

The Cleanup Star program will improve the environmental consulting profession by establishing standards of excellence for consultants performing remedial work. Also, DEP case managers will have more time to focus on sites with greater environmental or public health concerns by relying on consultants in the Cleanup Star program to use their expertise at the least contaminated sites.

To spur redevelopment, the Cleanup Star program will allow uncontaminated or slightly contaminated property to move quickly through the DEP remedial process, allowing the properties to be sold or reused for new purposes. Brownfield redevelopment is a vital component of Governor McGreevey's efforts toward 'Building a Better New Jersey' for the economic health of the state's cities and suburban centers.

The investigation and remediation of Cleanup Star sites also must be completed in full compliance with DEP's regulations governing all phases of the site remediation process.

DEP anticipates that homeowner underground heating oil storage tank cases, brownfield sites on which there is no trigger for investigation of ground water contamination, discrete spills where a discharger is pursuing final cleanup approval and certain other sites are the types that may be eligible to proceed through the Cleanup Star program.

To apply, an environmental professional must hold a bachelor's degree or higher in a physical, chemical or natural science or related engineering discipline. Applicants must demonstrate five years of continuous, full-time experience in the field of hazardous substance remediation and continuous experience in New Jersey employing the state's Technical Requirements for Site Remediation during the past five years. Cleanup Star applicants also must possess a third-party certification recognized by DEP, and meet additional published criteria.

DEP will publish a list of pre-qualified environmental professionals on its web site for individuals seeking the services of a Cleanup Star. Local, county and state government environmental professionals are also encouraged to apply; however, these individuals may not perform Cleanup Star activities on behalf of any party other than their government employer.

DEP received 411 applications in response to the formal announcement of the Cleanup Star program in September 2003. The application period for individuals seeking Cleanup Star pre-certification ended November 26, 2003. Interested parties are invited to apply during the next application period to be announced this spring.

 

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Last Updated: January 6, 2005