LICENSED SITE REMEDIATION PROFESSIONAL BOARD SET TO BEGIN WORK
(10/P125) TRENTON - The first meeting of the Licensed Site Remediation Professional Board is scheduled for this Monday, setting the stage for the board to begin its important work in improving the efficiency of contaminated site cleanups, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
"The Licensed Site Remediation Professional program is the cornerstone of our efforts to improve the speed and effectiveness of New Jersey's contaminated site cleanup system," Commissioner Bob Martin said. "Through this new system, cleanups will take place much more quickly and make underutilized properties available more quickly for redevelopment, helping the economy by generating local tax revenues and creating jobs. It's a new way of thinking and doing things that has become necessary because the old system was simply too cumbersome and inefficient."
The DEP has been issuing temporary licenses and performing other work related to phasing in the requirements of the Site Remediation Reform Act, signed into law last year. These responsibilities will now be shifted to the Licensed Site Remediation Professional Board.
The 13-member board will set the high standards by which Licensed Site Remediation Professionals will be expected to perform and issue licenses to qualified professional who will oversee the day-to-day management of contaminated site cleanups, using New Jersey's strict cleanup standards.
The board will investigate and take disciplinary action against Licensed Site Remediation Professionals whose actions do not meet these standards. Anyone may report concerns about the conduct of licensed professionals to the board for investigation. Those found not performing to these standards may be penalized with fines, license suspension or license revocation.
The DEP has some 20,000 contaminated site cases under its purview that need to be cleaned up, including former industrial complexes, landfills, smaller industrial sites, and underground storage tank cases - far too many for it to manage effectively. Many cleanups have taken too long because the old process emphasized process over results.
The Site Remediation Reform Act reforms this by taping into the resources and expertise of professional consultants so the DEP can focus its resources on the sites that are the most complex and have the greatest potential for environmental impacts. All contaminated site cases that are not directly overseen by the DEP must be handled by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional by May 2012.
The law toughens the cleanup process by setting new requirements and expectations for cleanup work. The law's key provisions include:
- Mandatory time frames for the completion of various phases of investigation and cleanup work
- Enabling the DEP to order cleanup remedies when those responsible for contaminated properties are deemed to be recalcitrant for failing to take action
- Allowing the DEP to reject cleanup remedies that would leave a property unsuitable for redevelopment or recreational uses
- Establishing presumptive cleanup remedies whenever a site is proposed to be redeveloped for residential units, schools or day care facilities
When all cleanup work has been completed, licensed site professionals will certify compliance with state requirements through a Response Action Outcome document. The DEP will review these determinations. Any that are not implemented as required by laws and regulations will be revoked, and corrective actions will be required.
The law mandates that the Commissioner of the DEP, who may be represented by a designee, and the State Geologist sit on the board. The remaining 11 members include six site remediation professionals, three environmentalists, one business person and an academician. The state Senate has confirmed the following members of the board:
- Richard Dewling, Dewling Associates, Inc., business community
- Joann Held, Alliance of New Jersey Environmental Educators, environmental community
- Christopher Motta, Arcadis, licensed site remediation professional
- Michael Pisauro, New Jersey Environmental Federation, environmental community
- Ira Whitman, Whitman Companies, licensed site remediation professional
- Lawra Dodge, Excel Environmental Resources, Inc., licensed site remediation professional
- Jorge Berkowitz, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, licensed site remediation professional
- Philip Brilliant, Brilliant Lewis Environmental Services, licensed site remediation professional
- Constantine Tsentas, ATC Associates, Inc., licensed site remediation professional
A member of the environmental community and a member of the academic community still need to be named.
The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. in the First Floor Public Hearing Room at the DEP building located at 401 East State Street, Trenton.
For more information about the Licensed Site Remediation Professional program, visit www.nj.gov/dep/srp/