On May 13, 2019, Senator Bob Smith (17th District) introduced S3682 (A5293 introduced by Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin) after an extensive and ongoing stakeholder process. Phil Brilliant, owner of Brilliant, participated in the stakeholder process as a member of the NJ Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board, representing the views and recommendations of the Board. The bill would make various changes to the laws governing the remediation of contaminated sites and licensed site remediation professionals (LSRPs). Some highlights:
- The bill would require a plaintiff, in any action for damages for personal injuries, wrongful death, or property damage resulting from an alleged act of malpractice or negligence by an LSRP, to provide each defendant with an affidavit of merit.
- The bill makes several changes to laws governing the establishment of remediation funding sources, and when and how those remediation funding sources may be used, dispersed and released.
- The bill would require the NJDEP to encourage the use of green and sustainable practices during the remediation of a contaminated site.
- Current law requires a person responsible for conducting a remediation to provide written notice of the remediation to the municipality and county in which the contaminated site is located prior to initiating the remedial action. The bill would require that such written notice be provided earlier in the site remediation process – prior to the initiation of the remedial investigation.
- Current law provides that an “immediate environmental concern includes confirmed contamination that has migrated into an occupied structure…” The bill would expand the definition to include “confirmed contamination that has migrated into a structure currently used or able to be used for human occupancy…”
- The bill provides that, if an LSRP who is retained to perform remediation at a site or any portion of a site obtains specific knowledge that a discharge has occurred at any location on the site, the LSRP must notify the person responsible for conducting the remediation and the NJDEP.
- The bill makes changes to the licensing requirements for LSRPs.
- The bill makes certain changes to the definition of the term “remediation,” used in various existing site remediation laws. The bill also adds a definition for the term “retained.”
Currently the bill is scheduled for a Senate Environment and Energy Committee hearing on June 6th, with an anticipated vote on June 17th and a hearing in the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on June 10th, with a vote. All hearings are open to the public and comments will be accepted.