Governor Phil Murphy • Lt. Governor Tahesha Way, Esq.
new jersey department of environmental protection
NJ Home Page Services A to Z NJ FAQs NJ Departments/Agencies departments
site remediation program

SRP Home | DEP Home

About SRP Our Origins


Origins of the Site Remediation Program

From the Publicly Funded Cleanups Site Status Report 2001 Introduction:

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, public support for a coordinated cleanup effort and pioneering state and federal laws enabled NJDEP to establish a progressive program to address contaminated sites. Beginning with the passage of the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act in 1976, the state initiated the first program in the country for the cleanup of contaminated sites that posed a danger to human health and the environment. This program became a national model. For the first time serious consideration was given to reversing decades of industrial, commercial and household waste mismanagement that resulted in discharges of hazardous substances into the environment.

Following New Jersey’s lead, the federal government created a program to provide financial aid and technical guidance in cleaning up the nation’s more serious contaminated sites. Enacted in 1980, the law is called the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), more commonly known as Superfund. This program was strengthened in 1986 by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA).

As the universe of potentially contaminated sites in New Jersey continued to increase from an original inventory of about 1,200 sites, NJDEP expanded its cleanup efforts to meet the challenges posed by a variety of pollution problems. The passage of several key state laws facilitated these endeavors, including the Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act (later replaced by the Industrial Site Recovery Act) and the Underground Storage Tank Act. Also, a Voluntary Cleanup Program started in 1993 facilitates cleanup of contaminated sites, including many brownfield projects, by private parties and municipalities under Site Remediation Program oversight.

The Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act of 1998 further refined the overall remedial process and stimulated cleanup and reuse of additional brownfield sites. The inventory of sites maintained by the Site Remediation Program for general reporting purposes includes more than 38,000 sites, of which more than 25,000 received No Further Action designations from NJDEP as of December 31, 2001.


Reference links: