NJDEP Releases New Petroleum Analysis Requirements

NJDEP has lowered the organic compound health value from 10,000 mg/kg to 4,800 mg/kg and has implemented a new ecological screening value. This change must be considered for all plans and reports submitted after March 17, 2009 or additional costs for resubmittal will result. Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (418.1) analysis is no longer acceptable for No. 2 heating oil/diesel fuel assessments. Details below.

Any value exceeding the 4,800 mg/kg human health based criterion will require further evaluation to determine the need for additional delineation and potential remedial action.

For concentrations above 1,000 mg/kg, the current requirement to analyze for volatile organic compounds plus 10 tentatively identified compounds (VO+10) is being discontinued. In its place, the NJDEP will require that a base neutral compounds plus 15 tentatively identified compounds (BN+15) analysis of 25% of the samples exceeding the 1,000 mg/kg concentration threshold. Of particular concern are the base neutral compounds naphthalene and 2-methylnaphthalene.

Analysis methods acceptable by the Department for no. 2 fuel oil and/or diesel fuel oil are SW-846 Method 8015B – Diesel Range Organics and the Department’s OQA-QAM-025, and/or their latest versions or equivalents.

Ecological Based Screening Value:
A new ecological screening value of 1,700 mg/kg is applicable to all petroleum hydrocarbon discharges if a sensitive environmental receptor is potentially impacted, as determined by a baseline ecological evaluation. In this case, an ecological risk assessment will need to be conducted for the purpose of establishing a site-specific ecological criterion. The maximum allowable site-specific ecological criterion is 4,800 mg/kg.

Future Plans:
Currently under development at the NJDEP is a site-specific approach using an Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbon (EPH) method, which will be used to replace the 4,800 mg/kg value. The public and regulated community will be notified via the Department’s website when the EPH Method becomes available and the site-specific approach implemented.

NJ Requirements for Public Notification

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has amended the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (N.J.A.C. 7:26E) to require the performance of public notification and outreach beginning at the onset of the remedial investigation phase of a contaminated site.

Public Notice Helpful Hints
Possible public notice action items that may be required for your Site include:

  • A posted sign at the Site which denotes that an environmental investigation is currently in progress.
  • Notification letters sent to the property owners and school administrators located within 200 feet of the Site’s boundary.
  • Submittal of an approved separate public notice plan to the DEP.
  • A fact sheet distributed (and delivered via certified mail) to the owners of all property located within 200 feet of the Site boundary; published in a newspaper within the Site vicinity; and a copy provided to all case managers, DEP community relations, municipality, and health officials involved with the Site remediation. This fact sheet should be updated once the off-Site impacts have been delineated.

It should be noted that soil contamination notification requires only informing the affected adjacent property, and that historic fill is exempt from these notifications. Additionally, no municipal notification is required for remediation being conducted in association with unregulated underground storage tanks (such as heating oil tanks used for on-Site consumption in one-to-four unit family residences).

Amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:26E are published in the September 2, 2008 New Jersey Register. The rule adoption document is posted on the Department’s web page.

The NJDEP has prepared the following guidance documents to help remediation parties comply with the newly adopted amendments:

Sensitive Populations
The sensitive population and resource check requires that two weeks prior to remediation sensitive populations located within 200 feet of the Site boundary should be identified and recorded on the checklist linked above. The NJDEP identifies sensitive populations as: residences, potable wells, schools, child care, parks, surface water and well-head protection areas.