The landscape continues to change around the new Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”). You may recall prior Legal Update discussions about SRRA and the total overhaul of the regulations governing environmental clean-ups. Certain aspects of the SRRA are already in flux. The comment period for these regulatory revisions, published on October 4th, closed on December 3rd. In keeping with the original intention of the SRRA to make environmental clean-ups simpler and faster, the rule amendments propose easing deadlines established in the interim rules. Deadlines for submission of preliminary assessments, immediate environmental concern controls and installation of free-product removal technologies have all been relaxed a bit. These rule amends have a worthy goal of reducing the possibility of triggering the dreaded mandatory direct oversight by NJDEP. After all these years of NJDEP oversight, under SRRA, that is the absolute last thing any property owner wishes to occur. Some additional minor amendments deal with adjustments to vapor intrusion investigations methodology and timing.
Overall, SRRA continues to be moving in the right direction to facilitate the goal of efficient clean up of contaminated sites. The amendments seem to further that goal. We will continue to monitor changes to this moving target, hopefully in further positive directions.
James E. Jaworski is a Senior Partner at WJ&L. He also heads up our Real Estate Department and actively practices in Land Use and Development areas.