NJDEP: Year End, Post-Hurricane Sandy

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December 12, 2012
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December 12, 2012
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NJDEP: Year End, Post-Hurricane Sandy

Post-Hurricane Sandy Site Evaluations

We hope that everyone is recovering from the impacts of the Hurricane.  At this time, it is essential to know the condition of sites where you are responsible for conducting remediation, and sites for which you are the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) of record.  Please evaluate whether the storm caused any of the following:

  • New discharges at your site.  Any discharges of hazardous substances are required to be reported to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Hotline at 877-WARNDEP.
  • New immediate environmental concern conditions (water, vapor, direct contact).  Immediate actions should be taken to address any immediate environmental concerns identified as part of this response.
  • Changes to site conditions requiring a reexamination of your receptor evaluation to determine whether it still accurately represents potential impacts to receptors.
  • If you have topic-specific questions regarding site remediation, please refer to the SRP contact list, available at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/srra/srra_contacts.htm.

Compliance/Attainment Technical Guidance Document

The NJDEP would like to announce the availability of the following:

TECHNICAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT: Technical Guidance for the Attainment of Remediation Standards and Site-Specific Criteria

DOCUMENT AVAILABLE AT: This document can be downloaded from the NJDEP Website at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance/index.html.

DESCRIPTION OF DOCUMENT: This guidance presents recommended procedures for achieving compliance with applicable remediation standards, alternative remediation standards, and/or site-specific criteria pursuant to the NJDEP’s Remediation Standards, N.J.A.C. 7:26D, and in accordance with the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, N.J.A.C. 7:26E.  The investigator should follow this guidance to determine if remediation is necessary and to demonstrate if remediation satisfies regulatory requirements including the NJDEP’s Remediation Standards.  This guidance applies to the Site Investigation (SI), Remedial Investigation (RI) and Remedial Action (RA) phases of the remedial process.  Specific recommended procedures are provided for applying this guidance to soil, ground water, sediment, and surface water in each of these phases to assess remedial requirements (i.e., to demonstrate that remediation standards have been achieved).


Important Information about Vapor Mitigation Systems and Power Outages

Property owners with vapor mitigation systems (also known as subsurface depressurization systems) are advised that a power outage that shuts down a vapor mitigation system for a short period of time (several days to weeks) does not create an immediate health hazard.  The system was installed to reduce the occupants’ exposure to very low levels of organic vapors over an extended period of time, between 25 to 30 years.  In addition, when the system was installed, cracks and other openings that could provide pathways for vapors to enter the building were most likely sealed.  If vapors do enter the building due to a power outage, short-term exposure to low levels of organic vapors over several days to weeks will not significantly increase the occupants’ risk for health problems.

If they choose to, occupants can take the following actions to reduce exposure to organic vapors during a power outage:

  1. Limit your time in the basement or lowest floor of the building as much as possible.
  2. If the power outage continues for many days, create cross ventilation in the basement or lowest floor if the outdoor temperatures are tolerable. Cross ventilation draws outdoor air in one window and exhausts it out another window.  This process does not have to be performed continuously and can be done periodically.
  3. Do not simply open windows or turn on ventilation fans, as this may draw organic vapors from the subsurface into the building.

Additional information about vapor intrusion can be found on the NJDEP’s Site Remediation Program (SRP) website at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance/vaporintrusion/.


Notice Regarding Mandatory Use of Fee and Retention NJDEP Online Services

The Annual Remediation Fee Form and the LSRP Notification of Retention and Dismissal Form may now be completed online.  A notice (included below) was published in the September 17, 2012 New Jersey Register making use of the services mandatory.  Due to operational constraints, paper forms will be accepted up to January 18, 2013.  Instructions for obtaining an account and filing the forms online can be found on the SRP forms page and directly at                                                           http://www.state.nj.us/dep/srp/srra/forms/annual_remediation_fee_reporting_ins.pdf, http://www.state.nj.us/dep/srp/srra/forms/lsrp_notification_retention_or_dismissal_ins.pdf.  Questions about obtaining an account or completing a service online can be directed to PortalComments@dep.state.nj.us.

The New Jersey Register Notice dated September 17, 2012 stated:

44 N.J.R. 2253(a)

NEW JERSEY REGISTER

Copyright (c) 2012 by the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law

VOLUME 44, ISSUE 18

ISSUE DATE: SEPTEMBER 17, 2012

PUBLIC NOTICES

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SITE REMEDIATION PROGRAM

44 N.J.R. 2253(a)

Notice of Availability of Online Portal for the Submission of Annual Remediation Fee Reporting Form and Licensed Site Remediation Professional Notification of Retention or Dismissal Form

Take notice that the Department’s online portal for the submission of the Annual Remediation Reporting Fee form and the Licensed Site Remediation Professional Notification of Retention or Dismissal form is now available. N.J.A.C. 7:26C-1.6(c) provides that:

Within 90 days after the date that the Department informs the public, by a notice in the New Jersey Register, that an electronic portal is available, the person responsible for conducting the remediation shall submit to the Department via the electronic application all forms, applications and documents required by this chapter and the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, N.J.A.C. 7:26E electronically.

Accordingly, on December 16, 2012, all Annual Remediation Reporting Fee forms and all Licensed Site Remediation Professional Notification of Retention or Dismissal forms shall be filed electronically through NJDEP Online, http://www.nj.gov/dep/online/.


Calling all RPs and LSRPs! Know Your Role Regarding Public Inquiries

RPs and LSRPs:  Please be aware of the current rules regarding notification and responding to public inquiries about your sites.

Now that the NJDEP no longer has the latest information on the statuses of environmental investigations and cleanups, the responsibility for responding to public inquiries about these sites has shifted to the remediating parties (RPs) and their LSRP.

As required by the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (ARRCS, May 2012; N.J.A.C. 7:26C), all public notification signs, letters, fact sheets and updates  must include contact information for the person responsible for conducting the remediation (the “RP”) and the LSRP of record for the site.  Signs must be updated immediately to delete contact information for the NJDEP Office of Community Relations and replace it with LSRP contact information.  Contact information must be updated in notification letters and/or fact sheets at the time the next update letter and/or fact sheet is required to be sent.

New in ARRCS is the requirement for RPs to respond to public inquires received by them or referred to them by NJDEP.  However, since the LSRP is typically responsible for the day to day remedial activities, he or she is likely more capable of responding to inquiries about a remediation than the RP.  Therefore, unless the RP has not delegated the responsibility for responding to inquiries to their LSRP or directed NJDEP otherwise, NJDEP will direct questions from the public, press and elected officials to the LSRP of record for the site.  Please see N.J.A.C. 7:26C-1.7(o) for more information.

When a public inquiry concerning a site is received, NJDEP will call and/or e-mail the RP/LSRP and direct that person to respond to the inquiry.  If the RP/LSRP does not respond to the inquiry, or does not provide an appropriate response, NJDEP will call the RP/LSRP to encourage compliance.

If these measures do not result in an appropriate response to the public inquiry, NJDEP will send a letter to the RP noting the failure to respond to the inquiry.  The letter will include a warning that failure to conduct public outreach when required pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:26C-1.7(o) is a minor violation and can result in a base penalty of $10,000 (see N.J.A.C. 7:26C-9.5(b)).

Also, if an RP has notified its LSRP that he or she must respond to a public inquiry and the LSRP does not respond appropriately, the LSRP may be referred to the Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board (SRPLB) for a code of conduct violation.

NJDEP  has updated the public notification guidance at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance/public_notification/ and will be offering training on community relations and public outreach to the regulated community in early 2013.


SRPLB Draft Rules

The Rules Committee of the SRPLB is seeking feedback on draft sections of the SRPLB rules.  You can view the draft rules on the SRPLB’s website at:  http://www.nj.gov/lsrpboard/board/rules/index.html.

There are currently seven draft subchapters posted on the website for review and comment.   The most recent drafts approved for posting by the SRPLB on November 19, 2012 include Licensing, Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Proceedings. Additional drafts will be posted as they are completed and approved by the SRPLB.  These draft rules are posted in accordance with the SRPLB’s policy, which requires that draft sections be posted for stakeholder input.

Be advised that this informal solicitation of feedback is independent of, and will precede the formal public comment period that is required under the Administrative Procedure Act at N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq. once the full rule is published as a proposal in the New Jersey Register.  The comments that are received may be considered as part of the rulemaking process, but be aware that the SRPLB is not obligated to respond to comments received as part of this informal process. Please send comments to: SRPLBoardContact@dep.state.nj.us.


Additional Topic Experts Have Been Added to the LSRP Technical Consultation Program

SRP’s Technical Consultation Program allows LSRPs or remediating parties to consult with experienced NJDEP staff to ask site specific technical questions. Information about the program is available at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/srra/technical_consultation/.

Additional topic experts have been added to the LSRP Technical Consultation program:

For questions about the Impact to Ground Water (IGW) pathway framework or site specific options, contact Swati Toppin at 609-777-1950 or swati.toppin@dep.state.nj.us.

For questions about IGW pathway fate and transport models, contact Paul Sanders at 609-292-9998 or paul.sanders@dep.state.nj.us .

Question: What is the best way to find a DEP topic expert?

Answer:  Use the SRP contacts list available at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/srra/srra_contacts.htm  to locate the NJDEP staff person under the Technical Questions heading or under the Guidance Documents heading.

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