NJDEP Clarifies Issues and Expands Program

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NJDEP Clarifies Issues and Expands Program

Clarification of Issues Concerning Site Investigation Report Submissions

The NJDEP has identified the following two areas where there is confusion concerning the submission of a Site Investigation Report to the NJDEP:

1. When is a person responsible for conducting the remediation of a regulated UST required to submit a Site Investigation Report?

Currently, the majority of Remedial Investigation Reports submitted pursuant to NJAC 7:14B-8.3(a) are initial Remedial Investigation Reports, which characterize the type of contamination found at the UST facility and include the components of a Site Investigation Report. The NJDEP does not want to receive UST Remedial Investigation Reports or Remedial Action Reports until RI and/or RA are complete. The initial report to be submitted to the NJDEP should be one of the following (refer to the following section for an explanation of the timeframe for submittal of this initial report):

  • If the RI and/or RA are incomplete: a Site Investigation Report with a completed PA/SI Form;
  • If the RI is complete (i.e., contamination is fully delineated in all media) but the RA is not complete: Site Investigation and Remedial Investigation Reports with completed PA/SI and RI Forms; or
  • If the RI and RA are complete (i.e., contamination is fully delineated and remediated in all media) and a Final Remediation Document is issued: Site Investigation, Remedial Investigation and Remedial Action Reports with completed PA/SI, RI, Remedial Action Report and Response Action Outcome Forms.

2. What is the regulatory timeframe for submitting a Site Investigation Report?

The regulatory timeframes for submission of a Site Investigation Report in the current UST and ISRA rules conflict with the regulatory timeframes for submission of a Site Investigation Report in the Technical Requirements. Specifically, the regulatory timeframe for submitting a Site Investigation report in the UST and ISRA rules is 270 days after the triggering event described in the those rules, whereas the Technical Requirements require the submission of a Site Investigation Report within one year from when remediation is initiated as determined pursuant to NJAC 7:26C-2.2(b)4. The NJDEP is reconciling the conflict as follows:

  • The regulatory timeframe for submitting a Site Investigation Report is one year from when the remediation was initiated as determined pursuant to NJAC 7:26C-2.2(b)4, including ISRA and UST cases.
  • The NJDEP will use its enforcement discretion and not enforce against responsible parties that miss the 270 day submission requirements pursuant to the UST and ISRA rules.
  • Note that if a person responsible for conducting a remediation complies with all of the provisions for requesting an extension of a regulatory timeframe outlined in NJAC 7:26C-3.2(b), the extension request is deemed to be approved unless the NJDEP explicitly denies the request. Failure to meet the one year timeframe could result in enforcement action by the NJDEP.

The NJDEP intends to correct the discrepancies among these regulatory timeframes as part of the final rule making. The final rules are expected to be adopted by May 2012.

NJDEP Expands Land Use E-Permitting Program

As part of its continuing commitment to customer service and transformation, the NJDEP has launched a new service that will allow property owners and their contractors to apply online for certain types of freshwater wetlands permits, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

The public can now apply online for two types of general permits – GP-8, which allows for additions to existing houses, and GP-25, which allows for replacements of malfunctioning septic systems.

“The Christie Administration is committed to cutting through red tape that creates unnecessary burdens for the public,” Commissioner Martin said. “This new e-permitting program is a key step toward that goal, providing property owners and their contractors with a more customer- friendly and easier-to-navigate way to apply for and receive rapid decisions on two common types of land use permits, while still requiring applicants to meet the same high environmental standards.”

The NJDEP for years has utilized on-line permit application systems for its air, water and underground storage tanks programs. Last year, the NJDEP’s Division of Land Use Regulation launched its first e-permitting system allowing the public to apply for two types of waterfront development permits in coastal areas – a GP-14 for in-kind bulkhead replacements and a GP-19 for dock replacements in artificially constructed lagoons.

For all of these permits, applicants are required to answer a short list of questions and certify their responses as truthful and accurate. A computer program will then provide, within minutes, an automated approval or rejection based on the answers to this application.

“E-permitting has proven very successful,” said Marilyn Lennon, Assistant Commissioner of the Land Use Regulation Program. “By their nature, these general permits are less complex but can tie up NJDEP resources that could be better used elsewhere, including on enforcement of our environmental laws. Applicants must still meet our tough environmental standards. At the same time, quicker NJDEP decisions on projects can save property owners money, time and aggravation.”

The NJDEP is also developing a program to allow applicants to submit wetlands delineations, know as Letters of Interpretation, through an on-line system. This system, expected to be available later this year, will allow the NJDEP to collect and store wetlands data on its Geographic Information System database, providing instant information to future property owners as well as neighbors on where sensitive wetlands are located.

Users may access the Land Use Regulation Program e-permitting system at http://njdeponline.com

Follow the registration process and create an account. When setting up your profile, select Land Use Permitting. Instructions are available at this web site, or you may call the Land Use Technical Support line at (609) 777-0454. Select option 1 if you want to apply for a GP-8 permit or a GP-25 wetlands permit. Select option 3 if you want to apply for a GP-14 or GP-19 waterfront development permit.

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