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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2004

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 984-1795

DEP Approves First Action under Cleanup Star Program
Program Created to Speed Remedial Work at Contaminated Sites

(04/31) TRENTON --- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced approval of the first cleanup completed under the new Cleanup Star program that is designed to expedite remedial work at contaminated sites in the state.

"This first case under the Cleanup Star program allowed testing and all the necessary cleanup work at a low-risk site to move quickly so that it can be put to full productive use," said Assistant Commissioner Joe Seebode. "The Cleanup Star program is a prime example of how we are streamlining and creating smarter programs to both protect the environment and support economic growth."

In February, DEP formally designated 243 environmental professionals representing 103 companies as Cleanup Stars to work with developers and responsible parties to expedite site cleanups and redevelopment.

In the case announced today, 15 tons of contaminated soil were removed from Resolution Packaging in Montville Township, Morris County and taken to a licensed recycling facility for treatment. A faulty furnace valve resulted in a spill of Number 2 heating oil in late December 2003. The spill migrated to the soil outside a furnace room at the facility, but did not impact ground water.

Michael Brogan of Penn Jersey Environmental Consulting, Inc., submitted a Remedial Investigation/Action report to DEP on March 22, 2004 under the Cleanup Star program. DEP issued a No Further Action determination on March 29, 2004 documenting completion of remedial activities at the site.

The owner was negotiating the sale of the property when the spill occurred. The Cleanup Star program allowed this low environmental risk case to move forward resulting in a second No Further Action determination, which will help expedite the property sale.

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 allows designated consultants to oversee and fully manage investigation and cleanup work normally performed by a limited number of DEP project managers. DEP staff will provide expedited reviews of remedial reports for these Cleanup Star sites. The investigation and cleanup of Cleanup Star sites must be completed in full compliance with DEP's technical requirements for site remediation governing all phases of the remedial process.

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. 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.

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 are the types that may be eligible to proceed through the Cleanup Star program.

Cleanup Star environmental professionals 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.

A list of pre-qualified environmental professionals is on DEP's web site for individuals seeking the services of a Cleanup Star.

 

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