Governor Chris Christie recently signed into law A-4543/S-3075 (Spencer/Schepisi/Smith/Bateman), which extends the deadline for completing the remedial investigation of contaminated sites before the Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") takes direct oversight of the sites. The law provides for an extension of two years for the completion of the remedial investigation if specified criteria are met. A document specifying that the criteria are met must be submitted to DEP by March 7, 2014.
The Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) established a May 7, 2014 deadline for completion of remedial investigations of sites where contamination was identified on or before May 7, 1999. This deadline also applied to sites at which contamination should have been identified on or before May 7, 1999 due to a legal obligation to complete a preliminary assessment and/or site investigation. SRRA required that Remedial Investigation Reports (RIR) be filed with DEP for such sites by the May 7, 2014 deadline. If the RIR is not submitted by the deadline, the SRRA requires DEP to take over direct oversight of the remediation of the property.
The primary method established in the law to qualify for the deadline extension until May 7, 2016 requires the License Site Remediation Professional ("LSRP") retained by the applicant for the site must submit to DEP by March 7, 2014, a document, certified to by the applicant, stating that the following conditions have been met:
- a licensed site remediation professional has been retained to conduct a remediation of the site;
- any remediation requirements included in mandatory remediation timeframes have been met at the time of the certification;
- technically complete submissions have been made for the (a) initial receptor evaluation, (b) immediate environmental concern source control report, (c) light non-aqueous phase liquid interim remedial measure report, (d) preliminary assessment report, and (e) site investigation report;
- a remediation funding source has been established, if required;
- if a remediation funding source is not required to be established by the applicant pursuant to law, then a remediation trust fund for the estimated cost of the remedial investigation has been established;
- any oversight costs imposed by the department have been paid to the department; and
- the annual fees imposed by the department for the remediation and remediation funding source surcharges have been paid to the department.