New Help for Child Care Center Permitting in NJ

NJDEP LogoThe NJDEP announced today the launch of an updated website for child care and educational facilities to clear up confusion on the environmental compliance requirements for sites subject to the “Madden Legislation”  P.L. 2007, Chapter 1. The site provides useful links and guidance to assist you with navigating through this multi-agency regulatory process.

In our experience, REPSG recommends that a new applicant allow up to three (3) months to address the environmental compliance steps. The first step is to hire a licensed site remediation professional (LSRP) to prepare a Preliminary Assessment Report (PAR). If a prior Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is available this is helpful, but it does not replace the PAR. The LSRP will review the site history and identify potential on-site and off-site sources of contamination and advise you through the next steps in the process. The selection of a qualified LSRP with specific child care permitting experience is vital to the success of the project.

If you are about to embark on your child care center new application, three year renewal or are constructing an educational facility please contact me at cdrake@repsg.com so that I can assist you with your process. Grants are available through the HSDRF. Ask me how!

Do New Vapor Rules in NJ Affect Your Project?

NJDEP LogoToday, January 17, 2013: NJDEP published major changes to guidance and standards pertaining to Vapor Intrusion. Vapor Intrusion is defined as the migration of volatile chemicals from the subsurface into overlying buildings through subsurface soils or preferential pathways (such as underground utilities). This pathway has been the driver for many off-site investigations, public notifications and costly indoor air testing since the NJDEP’s initial guidance came out in 2007.

Just released on the NJDEP’s Vapor Intrusion web page is the revised Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance document and updates to the 2007 Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels (VISL). Finally, the web page also features Johnson & Ettinger (J&E) Model spreadsheets that were updated to reflect toxicity changes in the new VISL.

Here are just some of the changes:
Naphthalene and 2-methylnaphthalene have been added to the VISL tables. At this time, the laboratory capacity to analyze naphthalene and 2-methylnaphthalene using the preferred USEPA Method TO-17 is limited (only one certified laboratory). Therefore, the Department will not require the collection and analysis of naphthalene and 2-methylnaphthalene until July 16, 2013.

A factor of 10 has been incorporated into the calculation of the health-based ground water screening values for additional petroleum related contaminants (not reflected in the March 2007 tables) to account for degradation of the contaminants in the unsaturated zone. The additional petroleum related contaminants include: 1, 3-butadiene; cyclohexane; n-hexane; 2-methylnaphthalene; naphthalene; and styrene.

Five contaminants have been eliminated from the VISL tables due to the absence of inhalation toxicity information. These chemicals include: 1, 3-dichlorobenzene; 1, 2- dichloroethene (cis); 1, 2- dichloroethene (total); 2-chlorotoluene; and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA).

Changes to many previously regulated compounds, including increases in groundwater screening levels for tetrachloroethylene (aka PCE) (up to 31 ug/l from a prior standard of 1 ug/l) and trichloroethylene (TCE) (up to 2 ug/l from a prior standard of 1 ug/l) for example, were also made.

Consult your LSRP regarding how these changes affect your project, or feel free to contact REPSG directly at info@repsg.com.

Stop Chasing Contamination: DEP Implements Compliance Averaging Guidance

NJDEP SRP LogoOn September 24, 2012 the NJDEP finalized the Technical Guidance for the Attainment of Remediation Standards and Site-Specific Criteria. The new Guidance provides helpful information for applying appropriate remediation criteria and determining compliance. However, the standout piece of information is that compliance averaging, like the use of 95 percent upper confidence limit of the mean (95 UCL) and 75%/10x, can now apply to Sites in New Jersey. These compliance options have been accepted by the PADEP for years, and REPSG has applied these statistical strategies at many Sites in Pennsylvania.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT YOUR NEW JERSEY REMEDIATION?

75%/10x is a useful statistical analysis strategy for remediation involving point-source impacts, like underground storage tanks or small spills. As long as the specified number of samples is collected and the analytical results of 75% of those samples are compliant with the remediation standard, the soils under investigation are in compliance. This approach can eliminate the need to chase low-level contamination that can sometimes persist after the removal of a heating oil tank; for example, in the case of benzo(a)pyrene and number 4 fuel oil.

95 UCL is another helpful statistical analysis strategy that can now be utilized at Sites in NJ. This method identifies uniform contamination and estimates the average concentration at the 95 UCL. If the average concentration is below the remediation standard, the associated soils are compliant; even some samples within the dataset have concentrations above the remediation standard.

Do you think that compliance averaging could help speed up remediation at your Site? REPSG can apply our statistical experience to your New Jersey projects. Leave a comment below or please feel free to contact me at jcutright@repsg.com.

An Introduction to Vapor Intrusion Investigations in New Jersey

 For the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), 2012 has been a banner year. Here at REPSG, we have really had to stay on our toes to ensure that allNew Jerseysites are adhering to current regulatory guidance, form submittal requirements, and rules.

In January 2012, the new Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance was finalized, providing lots of new details for the investigation of vapor intrusion into indoor air. Additionally, the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (7:26E) was finalized in May 2012, providing the last word in receptor evaluation of populations being potentially impacted by harmful vapors. Now that all of the changes have been finalized, Suzanne Shourds and I plan to tackle the topic of vapor intrusion in an upcoming series of blog articles. We will be discussing the ins and outs of vapor intrusion as well as our own experiences with sites in New Jersey that have addressed potential vapor intrusion. These posts will cover vapor intrusion screening levels, receptor evaluations, the stages of a vapor intrusion investigation (groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air), mitigation, and the special requirements associated with Immediate Environmental Concerns and Vapor Concerns.ew Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), 2012 has been a banner year. Here at REPSG, we have really had to stay on our toes to ensure that all New Jersey sites are adhering to current regulatory guidance, form submittal requirements, and rules.

To get things started, let’s take a look at Vapor Intrusion Investigation Triggers, Screening Levels, and Receptor Evaluation (Stage 1).

When conducting a Site Investigation, the first step to take to address potential vapor intrusion is to identify a source, as well as a potential pathway (typically impacted groundwater) and possible receptors. Identification of all these components triggers the need for a Vapor Intrusion Investigation (Stage 2), addressed in the next blog post on this topic).

Once impacted groundwater with concentrations above the NJDEP’s Groundwater Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels is identified and delineated, all buildings (homes, apartments, commercial spaces, warehouses) and structures (garages, utility vaults, sheds) within 30 feet of petroleum-based impacts (including free product) and/or within 100 feet of non-petroleum-based groundwater impacts (including free product) must be considered potential receptors of vapor intrusion impacts and incorporated into the investigation.       A receptor must be present in order for there to be a potential vapor intrusion concern. This includes consideration of future receptors. Once the trigger is identified, the property owner has 150 days to conduct sampling of the identified receptors. Prior to conducting this sampling, all receptors must be characterized to identify building or structure use, size, and details (such as the presence of a basement).

Additional site triggers for a vapor investigation include: soil gas or indoor air data above Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels, a wet basement or sump containing free product or groundwater impacted with volatile compounds, methane-generating conditions, any other situation threatening health and safety that is related to vapor/indoor air.

Have a question about vapor intrusion investigation triggers? Leave a comment below or please feel free to contact me at jcutright@repsg.com. Please check back soon for our follow up article on Stage 2: Vapor Intrusion Investigation.

The Hidden Dangers of Undeveloped Land

Developing farmland might appear, on the surface, to be free of environmental risks and liabilities.  If a field has only ever been a farm field or a forest, what environmental risks could a developer possibly face?  The answer lies in the field itself: pesticides.

In 1997 New Jersey created the Historic Pesticide Contamination Task Force (“Task Force”) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts and health effects of exposure to historic pesticide contamination.  The findings of the Task Force were published in 1999.  The Task Force recommended the sampling of former agricultural areas, particularly in areas where soils will be exposed to children (i.e. schools, daycare centers and playgrounds).  Indeed, under the Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”) former agricultural land is considered an area of concern when the future use of a property includes sensitive populations.  Addendum 2 of the Task Force report lists the concentrations of pesticides included in the NJDEP Soil Cleanup Criteria (“SCC”).  While the Task Force report remains an informative document to be used in assessing a property, the pesticide concentrations included in the addenda are no longer the most up-to-date since the implementation of the New Jersey Soil Remediation Standards in June 2008.  For this reason, it is critical that environmental professionals communicate with the laboratories completing the soil analysis.  The pesticide chlordane is an excellent example of the potential pitfalls to not clearly communicating with the laboratory about project needs.

The old pesticide list required investigators to analyze soil samples for alpha-chlordane (CAS No. 5103-71-9) and gamma-chlordane (CAS No. 5103-74-2) individually.  The current NJ Soil Remediation Standards (“SRS,” last updated October 3, 2011) require the analysis of total chlordane (CAS No. 57-74-9) instead of the individual compounds.  According to N.J.A.C. 7:26D (Table 1A and 1B), total chlordane is calculated by adding together alpha- and gamma-chlordane.

When requesting chlordane from an analytical laboratory, it is critical that you specify the correct chlordane and CAS number.  Unless otherwise specified, the laboratory may report technical chlordane (CAS No. 12789-03-6) which is a mixture of 23 different compounds that include chlordane isomers.  In our experience we have seen analytical results in which technical chlordane is more than double the concentration of total chlordane.

The development of farmland remains an attractive option to avoid environmental risks; however mistaking technical chlordane for total chlordane could mean the difference between compliant soil samples and a delayed project due to repeated rounds of soil sampling.

If you have any questions about Site Remediation, Soil Contamination or the NJDEP, feel free to email me at jmanuel@repsg.com or leave a comment below!

UPDATE: NJDEP Remedial Priority Scoring

We have another update on our previous post on the NJDEP’s Remedial Priority Scoring System.  The NJDEP has, again, extended the deadline for submission of data on the RPS Feedback Form. The new submission deadline is September 30, 2012. This provides Persons Responsible for Conducting Remediation and associated LSRPs with more time to update Site information that could impact the RPS score.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below or email me at jcutright@repsg.com.

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Original Update: 7/19/12

NJDEP LogoWe have an update on our previous post on the NJDEP’s Remedial Priority Scoring System.  The NJDEP has extended the deadline for submission of data on the RPS Feedback Form to August 31, 2012. This provides more time to update the X and Y Site coordinates, extent areas for soil and groundwater, pathway information, and missing or rejected Electronic Data Deliverables (EDDs).

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below or email me at jcutright@repsg.com.

 

A Primer to NJ’s EPH Categories

Approved methods of compound analysis change all the time, and so do their associated regulations. While it is always advisable to read and become fully familiar with the most up to date versions of regulations that are available, sometimes what you need is a primer to help get you started. And that’s what this post is all about.

Previously in New Jersey, petroleum hydrocarbons were analyzed by the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) analysis method 418.1, however, over time this method was systematically replaced through a series of evolving methods designed to address extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH). The method eventually settled on, and which is now in place, is known as ‘NJDEP EPH Method Revision 3.’

Protocol for implementation of the EPH Method Revision 3 divides petroleum types into two categories. Category 1 deals with releases of diesel fuel and/or number 2 (No. 2) fuel oil, while category 2 deals with releases of petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures other than diesel fuel/No. 2 fuel oil such as: cutting oils, crude oils, hydraulic oils, lubricating oils, number 4 and number 6 fuel oils, and waste oils. Category 1 requires analysis of non-fractionated EPH only while category 2 utilizes analysis of both non-fractionated and fractioned EPH analysis.

One thing to keep in mind when analyzing for EPH is that, regardless of the category, contingent analysis of specific compounds may be required based on your EPH results. EPH concentrations that trigger contingent analysis are determined by Table 2-1 of the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation Guidance (known as the ‘Tech Rule’ or ‘N.J.A.C. 7:26E’). Contingent analysis triggers and parameters vary based on petroleum type, so make sure to package your samples accordingly!

The concentration of EPH present within a sample that warrants soil remediation is 5,100 ppm for category 1, residential exposure. This is referred to as the human health value. Soils with concentrations above 5,100 ppm must be treated or removed. Alternatively, engineering controls (like an asphalt cap) and institutional controls (like a deed notice) can be used to mitigate exposure. A concentration of 54,000 ppm is the human health value for category 1 non-residential exposure scenarios. A determination of the presence of EPH product is made for both the category 1 residential exposure scenario and the non-residential exposure scenario when the concentration of EPH reaches 8,000 ppm. Soils with EPH concentrations above 8,000 ppm must be removed.

The Department requires that an ecological evaluation be conducted when the concentration of non-fractionated EPH reaches 1,700 ppm. However, if you’re a homeowner, or if the site being evaluated doesn’t have any significant ecological receptors, you’re in luck! The NJDEP typically doesn’t require that an ecological evaluation be conducted in those instances.

For category 2, the 1,700 ppm ecological evaluation trigger can also serve as the trigger to analyze for fractionated analysis. Initially, non-fractionated EPH analysis is sufficient; however, concentrations over 1,700 require fractionated EPH data. Due to analysis turnaround times with labs, you may find it prudent to simply analyze category 2 soils for both non-fractionated and fractionated EPH at the same time. The human health value for category 2 can be calculated using the NJDEP’s EPH calculator spreadsheet. Simply input fractionated data and whether the scenario is residential or non-residential and the spreadsheet will indicate if additional remediation is necessary. A determination of the presence of EPH product for category 2 samples is made when the concentration of EPH reaches 17,000 ppm. As with category 1, soils with concentrations of EPH above 17,000 require removal while soils with concentrations below 17,000 that are calculated to be above the human health value may be treated, removed, or addressed with a combination of engineering and institutional controls.

For both category 1 and category 2 EPH analysis, the evaluation of sheen is determined utilizing the Department’s Sheen Remediation Guidance.

Now that you have the basics of the NJDEP’s EPH protocol down, please download (and read!) the complete NJDEP EPH Protocol Guidance document to learn more. Or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at sshourds@repsg.com, or leave a comment in the reply section below. Happy sampling!

NJ Annual Fees in the Simplest Terms

NJDEP LogoThe New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has replaced the past “hour-by-hour” oversight billing with a Site Remediation LSRP Annual Fee. This offers some advantages in terms of project budget planning, since the fees are fixed and predictable after you wade through confusing nuances. Your  Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) will guide you. If you have not retained a LSRP for your existing case, you need one.

The Way This Works
Your LSRP calculates your project’s annual fees for you and submits this information to the NJDEP in an Annual Fee Form. The cost of the fee is based on the number of contaminated areas of concern that have not been fully remediated as defined in N.J.A.C. 7:26E “NJ Tech Rule” last amended May 2012.

The annual fees must continue to be paid until all areas of concern have received a Response Action Outcome (similar to a No Further Action). Deadlines and other details regarding the fees are found in the Administrative Requirements for Remediation of Contaminated Sites Rule “ARRCS Rule”. The fee breakdown is as follows:

  • 0-1 Contaminated Areas of Concern $450.00
  • 2-10 Contaminated Areas of Concern $900.00
  • 11-20 Contaminated Areas of Concern $5,000.00
  • >20 Contaminated Areas of Concern $9,500.00

In addition to these amounts there are additional “contaminated media” fees of $1,400 (each) assessed if groundwater, sediment or surface water is impacted.  The Department estimates that most sites fall in Category 2. If no Annual Fee Form has been submitted, you will probably get a Site Remediation LSRP Annual Fee invoice for $900.00. Special considerations for underground storage tank sites apply, consult your LSRP.

This is not the sum total of your NJDEP fees, however. You are still responsible for past due oversight fees, fees related to remediation permits, and NJDEP direct oversight fees, if applicable. A handy link to check your project for past due fees is found here: Financial Obligation Summary Report. If your project’s closure strategy involves use of an engineering control (like a cap) or institutional control (like a Classification Exception Area (CEA)) you will continue to have ongoing fees.

Proper calculation and timely payment of fees is based on a good Preliminary Site Assessment and Site Investigation. If you receive a  Site Remediation LSRP Annual Fee  invoice from the NJDEP, forward it to your LSRP for review prior to paying it and don’t ignore notices. The NJDEP has the ability to assess fines and fees for non-compliance. Please feel free to contact me at cdrake@repsg.com with LSRP questions or leave a comment below.

 

NJDEP Remedial Priority Scoring

NJDEP Remedial Priority Scoring System – What You Need to Know.

You might be reading this post because you just received a letter from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) letting you know that you have been identified as the responsible person for conducting a remediation and that the NJDEP will be ranking your project using the Remedial Priority Scoring (RPS) System. This is not a cause for alarm and you are not alone. This system will be used to rankNew Jersey’s approximately 12,000 sites and the scores will be made public via the NJDEP’s website. Buyers, lenders and insurers can be expected to review a property’s score before proceeding with a transaction. As a result, the accuracy of a property’s score is of paramount importance.

What is New Jersey’s new Remedial Priority Scoring (RPS) System?

RPS is a computerized model that is designed to help the NJDEP categorize contaminated sites based on potential risk to public health, safety or the environment. Once the RPS Score is determined it is catalogued for relative ranking with sites with similar scores and placed into Categories 1 through 5. Category 1 represents the lowest score and thus the least potential risk through Category 5 which represents the highest score and thus the greatest potential risk. It should be noted that the information used by NJDEP will be derived solely from electronic databases maintained by NJDEP, based on reviews of already received letters, this creates the potential for erroneous assessments as these databases may not contain the most accurate and current information. Steps should be taken to make sure your site has the correct score.

What Should You Do If You Have Received a Letter from NJDEP on your Remedial Priority Ranking?

If you have received a letter from the NJDEP regarding your ranking it is important that you work quickly with your LSRP to make sure the information is accurate. You have until August 10, 2012 to utilize an online feedback loop in order to have your ranking recalculated.

If you have not already retained an LSRP for your Site or are unfamiliar with the LSRP program, a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) is now required to be retained to insure that remediation is being conducted according to NJDEP requirements. An LSRP is licensed by the State ofNew Jerseyand is required to adhere to strict guidelines to insure that remediation is completed with environmental, ecological and human receptors in mind. Once retained, in addition to insuring an adequate and efficient remediation from start to finish, an LSRP can provide detailed reviews of remediation that has already begun before moving it forward to completion. It is in this capacity that an LSRP can be tremendously useful in identifying errors in the RPS score.

Have you received a letter from NJDEP on your Remedial Priority Ranking? What’s been your experience been with the process? I would love to hear from you. If you have further questions about how to handle this process, feel free to post them in the comments section below or email me at jcutright@repsg.com.