STAR PROGRAM COMPLETES FIRST YEAR WITH 60 CLEANUP APPROVALS
Program Created to Speed
Remedial Work at Contaminated Sites
(05/68) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced approval
of 60 remedial projects under the new Cleanup Star program during
its first year of operation. The program is designed to expedite
remedial work at less complex contaminated sites in the state.
"The Cleanup Star program allows testing and cleanup work
at a low-risk site to move quickly so that properties can be put
to productive use," said acting Governor Richard J. Codey.
"The Cleanup Star consultants help DEP move sites through
the remedial process avoiding any delays for developers and other
Since the inception of the program in 2004, DEP has formally
approved 309 environmental professionals representing 127 companies
as Cleanup Stars to work with developers and responsible parties
to expedite site cleanups and redevelopment.
DEP issued no further action letters for the 60 sites that range
from cleanups of leaking home heating oil tanks and discreet spills
to environmental reviews of properties going through a farmland
"DEP holds Cleanup Star consultants to very strict standards
for remedial work through a rigorous audit process to ensure that
site testing and cleanup work meets state technical requirements,"
said Commissioner Campbell. "DEP also requires that Cleanup
Star participants follow comprehensive training and professional
DEP issued the first No Further Action determination under the
Cleanup Star program in March 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 expedited the
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.
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 provides
expedited reviews of remedial reports for the 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. In an
effort to expand the Cleanup Star program, DEP is considering
ways to allow additional sites into the program.
Remedial investigations and cleanups performed by Cleanup Stars
are subject to an auditing program by DEP to ensure full compliance
with the state's technical regulations. Audits can result in DEP
assessing penalty points that vary in severity for not following
the state's technical regulations. If a Cleanup Star receives
100 penalty points, they are removed from the program.
As a result of audits in the past year, DEP assessed eight different
Cleanup Star consultants and their employers a total of 87 penalty
points for failure to follow the technical regulations. In addition,
DEP assessed of one penalty point to each of five different Cleanup
Stars and their employers for minor administrative deficiencies.
Also, DEP removed three cases from the Cleanup Star program.
DEP also has been diligent in guaranteeing that Cleanup Star
consultants maintain all requirements under the conditions of
pre-qualification. Consequently, 28 Cleanup Stars have been removed
for failure to submit renewal documentation required for pre-qualification,
including eight-hour refresher, insurance and third-party certification.
In addition, this process eliminated five environmental consultant
companies from the Cleanup Star program.
In the most current enrollment period that ended January 5, 59
consultants submitted applications to become Cleanup Stars. Of
these applications, 33 were considered complete and acceptable
and 26 incomplete. The approved applicants became eligible to
participate in the Cleanup Star program when they completed their
Cleanup Star orientation last month.
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 regulations during the past five
years. Cleanup Star applicants also must possess a third-party
certification recognized by DEP, and meet additional published
A list of pre-qualified environmental professionals is on DEP's
Web site for individuals seeking the services of a Cleanup Star.