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.

Pennsylvania Grant Money Available to Tank Owners

Pennsylvania has established an Underground Storage Tank (UST) Heating Oil Clean Up Program. This grant program was created to assist tank owners with cleanup costs incurred as a result of heating oil releases from underground tanks with a capacity of 3,000 gallons or less.

Owners of USTs with a capacity of 3,000 gallons or less, who have a confirmed heating oil spill, should contact colewiler@state.pa.us . For your convenience, REPSG has made the grant application (revised July 2008) available for download here.

The Underground Storage Tank Heating Oil Clean Up Program has been designed as a reimbursement program. Tank owners are responsible for the first $1,000 in cleanup costs, but the Program will reimburse the owner for the remaining eligible costs, up to a total reimbursement of $4,000.

It should be noted that heating oil USTs located within basements have been specifically excluded from this program. The program is also not limited to private homeowners, but is also available to commercial entities.

There are several additional eligibility requirements, as well as ineligible costs. For that reason, it is important to hire a contractor who knows the environmental rules and regulations and can assist with determining eligible expenses and provide sufficient documentation.

NJDEP to Address Backlog of Cases

According to information published in 2008, the Site Remediation Program of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has 18,000 active cases which are covered by approximately 250 case managers. Due to this caseload, NJDEP report review times can range up to two years.

NJDEP acknowledges that this is frustrating and is an impediment to timely site remediation and business transactions. An estimated 4,000 of which are homeowner underground storage tanks. These tanks, referred to as unregulated heating oil tanks or “UHOTs” will be managed in a new program which relies on assessment performed by licensed individuals working for licensed companies. For residential UHOTs or non-residential heating oil tanks with an aggregate capacity of less than 2,000-gallons, this program will provide significant advantages, most particularly a reduction in review times. The notification of the rule proposal can be found here.

The NJDEP has already begun to review cases in the UHOT program. REPSG has been pre-certified to perform assessments and provide reporting in the UHOT program.

In a seminar on June 16, 2008 the NJDEP reported an average review time to issue a No Further Action was two weeks, a vast improvement. For more information on unregulated tank removals or financial assistance please visit these linked sites or contact us.

COAH Adopts Revised Third Round Rules

On December 17, 2007, the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) voted to propose its revised third round regulations resulting from the Appellate Division Decision on January 25, 2007. A summary of these changes is presented here.

On May 6, 2008, COAH proposed amendments to the recently adopted revised third round rules (N.J.A.C. 5:96 and N.J.A.C. 5:97) and the procedural rules for municipalities certified before January 25, 2007 (N.J.A.C. 5:95). The proposed rules were published in the NJ Register on June 16, 2008 and are available for download here.

The Council encourages comments to be submitted in electronic form to COAHmail@dca.state.nj.us to enable an expeditious review and response. Such comments should include the words “Rule Comments” in the subject box.

New EPA Lead Rule In Effect

Effective March 31, 2008, the US EPA Administrator has signed into effect the “Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program” active rule (40 CFR Part 745).

Under section 402(c)(3) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA is addressing leadbased paint hazards created by renovation, repair, and painting activities that disturb leadbased paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities.

The EPA defines ‘‘Target housing’’ (TSCA section 401) as: “any housing constructed before 1978, except housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities (unless any child under age 6 resides or is expected to reside in such housing) or any zero-bedroom dwelling.” Under this new rule, a child-occupied facility is defined as “a building, or a portion of a building, constructed prior to 1978, visited regularly by the same child, under 6 years of age, on at least two different days within any week (Sunday through Saturday period), provided that each day’s visit lasts at least 3 hours and the combined weekly visits last at least 6 hours, and the combined annual visits last at least 60 hours.”

You may be potentially affected by this action if you perform renovations of target housing or child-occupied facilities for compensation or dust sampling. Child-occupied facilities may be located in public or commercial buildings or in target housing.

Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to: building construction, specialty trade contractors, real estate, child day care services, elementary and secondary schools, other technical and trade schools, and engineering services and building inspection services.

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected.

This rule establishes requirements for training renovators, other renovation workers, and dust sampling technicians; for certifying renovators, dust sampling technicians, and renovation firms; for accrediting providers of renovation and dust sampling technician training; for renovation work practices; and for recordkeeping.

To learn more about this rule please visit Regulations.gov and search under docket number EPA–HQ–OPPT–2005–0049. Please visit the EPA’s lead program website for more information on lead issues; or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.

PA Uniform Environmental Covenants Act – UECA

On December 18, 2007, Governor Rendell signed Act 68, the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA), into law. Under UECA an environmental covenant will be required whenever an engineering or institutional control is used to demonstrate the attainment of an Act 2 remediation standard.

This applies for any cleanup conducted under an applicable Pennsylvania environmental law and will require all previously established activity and use limitations to be “converted” into environmental covenants within 60 months. This law took effect on February 16, 2008. In practice, PADEP has been requesting that draft covenant language be filed as part of remediation workplans and will be withholding approval of final No Further Action or release of liability for UECA-applicable sites until an approved covenant is submitted.

From a client perspective, this means potential delays while the PADEP figures out how they will implement these requirements. REPSG has also noted that the language requirements of UECA are causing the PADEP to give scrutiny to technical fate and transport modeling and thorough site characterization.

Links to information on UECA are provided below and will be updated as information is available. Please contact Charlene Drake at (215) 729-3220 with any questions on how Act 68 will affect your business.

Helpful Links

To learn more about UECA, please visit the PADEP’s website.

Biennial Reporting Alert

Compliance Advisory Enforcement Alert
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP” or “the Department”) is initiating a site remediation program to enforce monitoring reporting requirements.

Who is affected by this initiative?
According to the NJDEP official alert (issued in September 2007) parties that will be subject to planned enforcement actions are “those who are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of a remedial action that includes an engineering and/or institutional control, and submitting a biennial certification and report to the Department, but who have failed to do so.”

Why is NJDEP targeting this violation?
According to the Department, its receipt of biennial certifications and monitoring reports is the only means by which the Department is able to ensure that long-term monitoring and maintenance takes place, and that the implemented remedy remains protective at the site over time. Due to the volume of such sites, with respect to available Departmental resources, the Department relies on self-monitoring and reporting by responsible parties. It is critical that monitoring the protectiveness of the remedy occurs, particularly in the event that the property use changes to one that is inconsistent with the restrictions specified in the remedy, increasing the potential for exposure.

To learn more about this initiative, please visit the NJDEP’s Compliance and Enforcement Site, or download the official alert.

Envtl. and Safety Standards For Child Care Centers in NJ

By Emergency Rule dated October 17, 2006 and signed by Governor Corzine, Child Care Center operators are held accountable for providing a safe environment where kids can play and learn:

Applicants for new child care center licenses and those seeking to renew their licenses must certify that any building or property proposed for the site of a child care center was not previously used for operations that could pose an environmental concern. In the event that the building was used in such a fashion, the applicant must certify that certain requirements regarding those environmental concerns have been met, and have everything prepared with the best furniture as well, and for this going to sites as https://www.treasurerooms.com/shop/shop-by-brands/evolur-baby.html is useful in this regard.

Child Care Center operators must certify that the site currently complies with soil and environmental indoor air requirements established by the Departments of Environmental Protection and Health and Senior Services, respectively.

New Soil Sampling Guidelines for Childcare Centers have been established by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) establishes new rules for the testing of playgrounds.

For Child Care Centers not connected to a community water system, the facility must demonstrate that drinking water supplied by potable wells meets all applicable safe drinking water standards as administered by the Departments of Environmental Protection.

Current licensing regulations for childcare centers will be amended to codify these new emergency rules that are now being implemented through executive order. Some of the rules have already been adopted by the NJ legislature. The new rules will be implemented by several agencies including the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Community Affairs.

To learn more or find out how REPSG can assist you in certification, please contact us.