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Licensed Site Remediation Professional Program: 2019 A Year in Review

The enactment of the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) in 2009 established the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program and fundamentally changed the process for how sites are remediated in the state of New Jersey.

In August 2019, Governor Philip Murphy signed legislation to further improve the effectiveness of the LSRP program. These amendments include expanding the definition of what is considered “remediation,” clarifying notification obligations for LSRPs, increasing public notification and outreach requirements, and allowing the DEP to modify direct oversight requirements when appropriate.

With the primary goal of reducing the threat of contamination to public health and the environment, the Licensed Site Remediation Professional program has demonstrated success in accelerating the process of returning contaminated properties to productive use. At the end of 2019, the Site Remediation and Waste Management Program (SRWMP) reported 13,531 contaminated sites. Of these sites, 10,558 were active LSRP cases.

Perhaps one of the best measures of reducing the threat of contamination to public health, safety and the environment is the total number of cases closed by issuance of a final remediation document (a No Further Action Letter or Response Action Outcome). From 2009 to 2019, more than 53,000 cases were closed.

The Unregulated Heating Oil Tank Program closes an average of 3,500 cases per year. In addition, because these cleanups are often associated with a real estate transaction, DEP strives for a quick turnaround time, reducing the average to just 3 to 4 days after receipt of proper documentation to issue the No Further Action letter.

Lastly, LSRPs work in phases to complete remediations. As of December 2019, LSRPs had issued more than 14,600 Response Action Outcomes, certifying that a remediation was completed in accordance with New Jersey's statutes and DEP's rules and standards.

SRWMP's priority initiatives include conducting unknown source investigations, overseeing Immediate Environmental Concern cases, working with diverse partners in urban communities to support community revitalization as part of the Community Collaborative Initiative, and encouraging brownfield redevelopment.

Here are some highlights since SRRA was enacted:

  • In 2009, SRRA established the Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board (Board). The Board has licensed approximately 700 LSRPs that conduct remediation and hold as their highest priority the protection of public health and safety and the environment. Charged with overseeing the performance and conduct of LSRPs, the Board has conducted over 420 audits and resolved 60 (out of 74) disciplinary complaints files against LSRPs. The Board has approved over 530 courses for continuing education credits and developed and delivered a course on ethics to provide its perspective on this critical tenet of the LSRP program.
  • The person responsible for conducting remediation must adhere to mandatory and regulatory remediation timeframes by submitting key documents, marking the completion of remediation phases. SRWMP inspects and reviews these documents to ensure responsible parties are remediating sites in a timely manner and to confirm that remediation is conducted in accordance with applicable standards and regulations. From May 2009 through December 2019, over 60,200 key documents were inspected and/or reviewed by the program. Of these, SRWMP has completed inspections and/or reviews of more than 9,600 receptor evaluations (an investigation of potential impacts to human receptors).
  • SRWMP has implemented innovative techniques and programs to get responsible parties into compliance. One example is the Municipal Ticketing Initiative, in which cases are often resolved in just 3 to 6 months. In fact, in 2019, 58 summonses were issued with a compliance rate of 72%.
  • The use of online services has allowed businesses and the regulated community to submit documents electronically, thus reducing the number of paper submissions and increasing the quality of the submissions and the administrative process. Since inception of the LSRP program, nearly 60,000 documents have been submitted through online services, and over 10,000 documents electronically in 2019 alone, resulting in 3.72 million pages of paper saved!
  • SRWMP also maintains 68 DataMiner reports which allow users to track the progress of a case from creation through issuance of a Remedial Action Outcome.

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