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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1/30/03
03/8

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

Cleanup Guidelines Require Early Well Testing,
Add Incentives for Brownfield Developers
Ground and Surface Water Standards Adopted for Remedial Work

(03/8) TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced regulations to expedite testing of drinking water wells at risk of contamination and to help prospective purchasers of brownfield sites obtain and redevelop these properties.

"When our communities health is threatened and their drinking water is at risk of being contaminated, we must act quickly to protect them," said Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "With these new regulations, we are improving protection of public health with early testing of drinking water when private wells may be contaminated."

The new requirements are included in the re-adoption and amendments of DEP's Technical Rules, which were last updated in 1999. These rules establish the minimum requirements for investigations and cleanup work at any site in the state where a hazardous substance may have been released. For the first time, the new rules formally adopt cleanup standards for ground and surface waters. These rules also expand the requirements for long-term monitoring of restricted properties to prevent exposure to soil and ground water contamination remaining at a site.

To better protect public health, DEP is adding new requirements for more immediate testing of potentially impacted drinking water wells when ground water contamination is first detected. Previously, a lag time of six months or more often occurred when ground water contamination was first confirmed in an initial site investigation and when a well search was required in a later, more expansive investigation.

"The revised rules, along with our new brownfield initiatives, also will help developers and community leaders make productive use of brownfield sites," added Campbell. "A key element of Governor McGreevey's plan to combat sprawl and improve the quality of life in our communities is to ensure that contaminated properties are cleaned up and redeveloped as soon as possible."

To promote brownfield redevelopment, DEP will permit non-liable developers to perform a well survey and potable well sampling within 30 days after purchasing a contaminated property, rather than requiring these activities prior to purchase. This provision offers an effective balance by letting brownfield developers get to closing while ensuring the timely protection of public health.

The newly revised Technical Rules also incorporate New Jersey's Ground Water Quality Standards and Surface Water Quality Standards as the minimum remediation standards for ground and surface water. A related provision included in the amendments now requires that current ground water use and the potential for human and environmental exposure be considered when determining an appropriate remedial action for ground water contamination.

In addition, DEP is requiring more complete long-term monitoring and reporting when cleanup work is finished, but contamination remains. In these cases, restrictions such as institutional and engineering controls are implemented to prevent any future exposure to the contamination. Institutional controls may prohibit the installation of new wells or limit construction activities. An example of an engineering control is a landfill cap that contains and prevents the spread or release of contaminants.

An advance copy of the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, also known as the Technical Rules, can be found at DEP's web site at www.state.nj.us/dep/srp. The regulations are scheduled to appear in the New Jersey Register February 3, 2003.

 

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