CSG Law Alert: NJDEP Adopts New Form to Expedite Review of Soil Remedial Action Permits

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) has posted a new form for applications for Soil Remedial Action Permits (“SRAPs”) entitled “LSRP Supplemental Certification for Initial Soil Remedial Action Permit Application” for the purpose of expediting review of SRAP applications that meet certain criteria.

The SRAP Certification form must be completed by the case’s Licensed Site Remediation Professional (“LSRP”) and can be submitted for both new SRAP applications and SRAP applications previously submitted to NJDEP. Use of the form is optional.

The form provides several gate-keeping questions that the applicant must meet; otherwise, the case is not suitable for the SRAP Certification. The SRAP Certification will not apply to any of the following types of cases:

  • Cases under traditional oversight by NJDEP;
  • Landfill cases;
  • Residential properties, schools, or childcare facilities;
  • Cases that have received technical impracticability determinations; or
  • Cases with sediment or soil caps for addressing ecological receptors.

The LSRP must supply additional information on the SRAP Certification form, including the presence of deed notices, engineering controls, financial assurance, historic fill, delineation of contaminants, use of alternative remediation standards, PCBs, free product, and receptors. The form also requires the LSRP to agree that the Soil Remedial Action is protective of human health and the environment and satisfies the receptor evaluation requirements set forth in the Technical Regulations for Site Remediation (N.J.A.C. 7:26E-1.12).

The SRAP Certification is the latest effort by NJDEP to streamline the Site Remediation Process. On May 2, 2023, NJDEP’s Contaminated Site Remediation & Redevelopment program issued a Remediation Process Improvement Initiative. As a result of that initiative, NDJEP released a form entitled “Prioritized Initial Remedial Action Permit (RAP) Application Addendum.” The Prioritization Form differs from the Certification Form and may be used if the LSRP is unable to affirm the statements needed for the Certification Form.

The newly available SRAP Certification and last year’s Prioritization Form are both indicators that NJDEP is attempting to reduce its backlog of permit applications by issuing Soil RAPs. The Soil RAP is often the last hurdle to clear before an LSRP can issue a Response Action Outcome to close a contaminated site case. NJDEP delays in reviewing and approving the applications have been an obstacle to case closure in many instances.

These two forms are steps in the right direction for streamlining the Site Remediation Process and the ultimate cleanup and revitalization of contaminated properties. Looking forward, NJDEP advises that a Ground Water Remedial Action Permit certification form is being considered as well.

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