An Inside Look at New Jersey’s Key Environmental Issues

January 31, 2018


NEW JERSEY—WITH ITS SUPERfund sites, brownfield properties and legacy of old, contaminated industrial structures—offers a rich environment for firms that can address these key issues, such as environmental attorneys, engineers, labs, consultants and
LSRPs. COMMERCE asked these experts to discuss the legislative and regulatory
climate, plus offer insights about how New Jersey firms can prepare for 2018.

Equity Environmental Engineering
Peter Jaran, P.E., LSRP, Managing Director

Companies that tackle environmentally sensitive projects in New Jersey face at least two key issues, according to Peter Jaran, managing director of Equity Environmental
Engineering, an environmental engineering and planning consulting firm.

“The first involves complying with the maze of regulations that local, state and federal agencies have in place,” he says. “The second, which is almost as challenging, is keeping up with the blizzard of changes and new guidance from the NJDEP and other agencies. One way we keep up is by staying involved with the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey’s Environmental Business Council. The other way is by networking with Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) and other people in
the environmental industry, whether regulators, consultants or contractors that we’ve come to know through the years.”

But it’s not just the volume of paperwork, Jaran adds. “One frustrating condition sometimes occurs after an LSRP completes a site remediation and then
submits a Response Action Outcome (RAO) to the NJDEP, detailing the closeout
of the remediation.”

The RAO should mark the end of the project, “however, on occasion, the NJDEP may come back with questions, months or up to three years later, which can be very frustrating and, in some cases, undermines the purpose of the LSRP program.”

Other issues include an emerging one involving per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances,
or PFAS. The designation covers a diverse group of compounds—resistant to heat, water and oil—that are used in a range of products, including carpeting, apparel, upholstery, food, paper, fire-fighting foams and metal plating.

“Normally we deal with detecting a contaminant concentration of parts per million or even billion,” says Jaran. “But the USEPA’s new regulations for PFAS establish detection levels of parts per trillion. This will be a large effort going forward, and for many years.”

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