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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2005

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

CLEANUP 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 parties."

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 preservation process.

"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 protocols."

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 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.

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 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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NJDEP Cleanup Star Program
http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/cleanupstar/

 

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Last Updated: May 27, 2005