May 14, 2014 Remedial Investigation Deadline Approaching for Discharges Discovered Prior to May 7, 1999

Many Responsible Parties will be scrambling to meet the May 7, 2014 deadline to complete their remedial investigations. Failure to meet the deadline risks that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will undertake direct oversight of an entire contaminated site. Pursuant to the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), the May 2014 deadline applies to all discharges or contaminated areas of concern that have been or should have been identified on or before May 7, 1999, due to an obligation to complete a site investigation or preliminary assessment.

In order to demonstrate that the remedial investigation has been completed, a Responsible Party will need to submit a remedial investigation report, an updated receptor evaluation as part of the remedial investigation report, and a determination of whether a remedial action is required for the site. Because the determination of whether a remedial investigation is complete requires the Licensed Site Remediation Profession to conclude that there is sufficient information on which to base his or her professional judgment, the more complex sites, with records dating back many years present a significant challenge to meeting the upcoming deadline.

The NJDEP issued a policy statement interpreting the SRRA requirement, and has provided a form and accompanying instructions for parties who believe they are exempt from this deadline. The direct oversight rules can be found here.

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