NJDEP Adopts Soil Remediation Standards

On June 2, 2008, NJDEP has recently adopted soil remediation standards (N.J.A.C. 7:26D) in order to implement the provision of the Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act. Under the rule, minimum residential and non-residential direct contact soil remediation standards have been established to replace the previous Soil Cleanup Criteria (dated May 12, 1999).

In a deviation from the proposed rules, the NJDEP did not adopt the minimum impact to groundwater soil remediation standards. According to the NJDEP, the impact to GW will be developed on a site-by-site basis with new guidance materials being issued.

The NJDEP has instituted a 6-month grace period for the implementation of the Remediation Standards (the cut-off date for this grace period is December 2, 2008). After which, the following applies:

  • The person responsible for conducting the remediation must remediate a site:
    1. To the remediation standards at N.J.A.C. 7:26D and the impact to ground water soil remediation standards developed on a site-by-site basis pursuant to Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act; or
    2. To the Soil Cleanup Criteria (SCC) that were in effect prior to June 2, 2008 when:
      1. The remediating party has submitted a remedial action workplan or a remedial action report before December 2, 2008 that establish the SCCs as the standards for the site;
      2. The remedial action workplan or a remedial action report is in compliance with the Technical Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:26E-6; and
      3. The SCC for the site are not greater by an order of magnitude or more, than the soil remediation standards adopted by N.J.A.C. 7:26D.
  • A remedial action workplan (RAWP) or a remedial action report (RAR) will be considered in compliance with the Technical Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:26E-6 when the Department has reviewed the report and has:
    1. Approved the RAWP or RAR; or
    2. Issued a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) and the remediating party rectifies all deficiencies to the Department’s satisfaction within the timeframe specified by the Department; and
    3. The remedial action is conducted within the timeframe specified in the RAWP.
  • A remedial action workplan (RAWP) or a remedial action report (RAR) will not be considered in compliance with the Technical Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:26E-6 when the Department has reviewed the report and has issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the remediating party. Under this situation, the remediating party must remediate the site to the remediation standards at N.J.A.C. 7:26D and the impact to ground water soil remediation standards developed on a site-by-site basis pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:10B-12a.

In addition, sites previously remediated with institutional controls (Deed Notices), will be required to compare concentrations of COCs left in place in soil with the new Remediation standards in their next biennial certifications. If there is a change in standards by an order of magnitude or more, then an evaluation for the protection of human health and the environmental must be conducted, and any necessary remediation done. A courtesy rule document has been issued.

Some key changes within the document are:

    • Some residential standards for VOCs have changed. Including:
      1. decreases for benzene, TCE, PCE, and vinyl chloride;
      2. increases for ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylenes;
      3. the NJDEP will now establish Site-Specific impact to groundwater soil standards on a case by case basis; and
      4. the NJDEP is now in the process of releasing guidance documents for the establishment of impact to GW standards.

 

    • Some residential standards for SVOCs have changed, including:
      1. decreases for benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, and (benzo(b)flouranthene; and
      2. increases for anthracene (from 100,000 ppm to 17,000 ppm) and naphthalene (from 230 ppm to 6 ppm).

 

    • Several changes for metals have occurred, including:
      1. decreases for selenium and vanadium;
      2. increases for antimony, beryllium, copper, cadmium, mercury, nickel, silver, and zinc; and
      3. notably, thallium has change from 1,000 ppm to 5 ppm.

 

    • Several SVOCs and metals now have non-residential standards higher then residential standards due to NJDEP calculation assumptions (inhalation exposure due to dust generated during truck traffic), including:
      1. acenapthylene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, phenanthrene, cobalt, and manganese.

 

  • Some minor changes to the residential standards for agricultural contaminants have occurred, including:
    1. arsenic (from 20 ppm to 19 ppm), dieldrin (0.042 ppm to 0.040 ppm), and toxaphene (from 0.1 ppm to 0.6 ppm).

More information about the rule can also be found at the NJDEP Site Remediation Program Web Page.