NJDEP Further Extends Site Remediation Timeframes
In 2020, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) twice announced limited extensions to certain site remediation timeframes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On February 1, 2021, NJDEP issued a Notice of Rule Waiver/Modification/ Suspension (the “Notice”) announcing an additional extension of the statutory timeframes established by the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”), N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1, et seq.
The Notice extends timeframes for two categories of contaminated sites. The first category is those sites for which a remedial investigation was not required by SRRA to be completed by either May 7, 2014 or May 7, 2016 (generally, sites where contamination had not been discovered by the time SRRA went into effect). For such sites, the Notice provides an extension of a total of 455 days (inclusive of the earlier two extensions) for certain remediation timeframes that has or will expire during the current public health emergency in New Jersey, as declared in Executive Order No. 103. Specifically, the Notice extends the timeframes to initiate, complete, and/or submit a report regarding a preliminary assessment, site investigation, initial receptor evaluation, immediate environmental concern contaminant source control, remedial investigation, and remedial action. Please refer to the Notice for additional details regarding the specific extensions. The Notice also extends all subsequent timeframes once any individual timeframe is extended.
The second category is those sites that were subject to the statutory 2014 and 2016 deadlines (generally, sites that were already known to be contaminated or that were undergoing remediation at the time SRRA went into effect). For these sites, the Notice extends the timeframe to complete the remedial action by one year from May 6, 2021 to May 6, 2022.
Lastly, the Notice clarifies that the person responsible for conducting the remediation must have retained a Licensed Site Remediation Professional in order to qualify for the extension. The full Notice can be accessed HERE.