Proposed Revisions to NJAC 7:26D for New Jersey

July 1, 2020

Author: Equity Environmental Engineering

We continue to hope you, your families, and colleagues are in good health and spirits as we move into warmer weather and the virus doesn't appear to be going away. It is very easy to get complacent about your personal protection but, please remember to wear your face covering and gloves, if necessary, and maintain your physical distancing policy. Gentlemen, remember that a long, full beard compromises the ability of a simple mask to do the job. A wrap-around covering (bandana or gaiter) may be more appropriate for you.

Re-opening Your Office 

New York City and New Jersey are now in Phase 1 of the State’s reopening plan which means ALL construction sites can reopen and begin work. You are still required to ensure your site meets all applicable building codes as well as all the rules and regulations of the municipalities and State agencies. The State health agencies and related construction departments have released new COVID-19 safety guidance that is expected to be adhered to during all construction activities related to your Site(s).

Equity can assist you to help ensure your job site(s) are in compliance by providing the following services:

  • COVID Accountability Monitors
  • Developing a Site-Specific COVID-19 Written Safety Policy
  • Jobsite Screenings
  • Drafting and maintaining applicable agency logs for site cleaning/disinfecting

For more information, please contact Faron Moser, CHST at (973) 527-7451 x 303.

Jersey City Remediation

The following link is to an article about the proposed Bayfront Development project in Jersey City, NJ. The project would build nearly 1,100 residential units on 16 acres, nearly 35 percent of which will qualify as affordable and workforce housing. The proposed project is on land formerly owned by Honeywell International Inc. 

The formerly contaminated property was remediated in part, under the LSRP (Licensed Site Remediation Professional) services of Equity Environmental Engineering LLC. Specifically, Peter Jaran, LSRP provided oversight on the investigation and remediation of chromium contaminated soil, USTs (underground storage tanks) filled with petroleum products and or chromium contaminated water, and the restoration of the property. 

For more information, please contact Peter at 973-527-7451, ext. 102 or via e-mail.

Proposed Revisions to NJAC 7:26D for New Jersey

In April 6, 2020, New Jersey Register, NJDEP proposed significant changes to the New Jersey Remediation Standards (NJAC 7:26D). These changes will affect the remediation of properties in New Jersey for years to come. As such, it is important that we review the remedial strategy for your properties. Actions taken now can save costs and effort once the new regulations take effect in 2021.

NJDEP will allow a six-month grace period for remediation to incorporate the new standards. The grace period begins on the date the revised standard is adopted. During this grace period, a person responsible for conducting the remediation may continue to apply the current NJDEP standards. However, if a RAWP (Remedial Action Work Plan), RAR (Remedial Action Report), or RAO (Response Action Outcome) or similar milestone is not certified and submitted prior to the end of the grace period, then the proposed standards must be applied. If a RAWP or RAR is prepared within the grace period and the current NJDEP standards are defined in the RAWP or RAR as the applicable remedial standards, and the standards in proposed NJAC 7:26D are not an order of magnitude below those remedial standards, then the current standards will apply. A number of metals and organic compounds have proposed standards an order of magnitude below current standards. As such, preparing a RAWP or RAR, or closing the case through an RAO, is likely to minimize future remedial costs.

Among the changes to NJAC 7:26D are the following:

  • Use of the current remedial standards is allowed if certain conditions, primarily certification and submittal of remedial phase reports, are completed within the regulatory timeframes. As a result of this rule change, it is important for remediating parties to request an extension if there is any possibility that the remediation will not be completed by the regulatory time frame. Also, if an extension of a mandatory time frame is requested and granted by the NJDEP, it is important to request written confirmation from the NJDEP that the current remedial standards can be applied.
  • Certain of the proposed standards were previously screening levels (for example, the Impact to Groundwater Soil Screening Levels). Similarly, the development of site-specific standards for these screening levels, which were previously in guidance documents, will be codified in the standards.
  • Among the standards that may trigger re-openers of completed remediation is the inhalation standard for ethylbenzene, for both residential and non-residential scenarios.   The current DCSRS (Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standards) for ethylbenzene are 7,800 mg/kg (Residential) and 110,000 mg/kg (Non-Residential). As such, few sites had deed notices or engineering controls for ethylbenzene. However, the proposed standards are 10 and 48 mg/kg for Residential and Non-Residential (Inhalation Pathway). There are potentially many sites that would need to be re-evaluated for ethylbenzene if the proposed standards are adopted. Equity can review the concentration of ethylbenzene in your soil and advise you if anything needs to be done.
  • The Indoor Air Screening Levels will become remediation standards. Among the implications of this change is that future order of magnitude reductions in these standards that could potentially re-open cases. Considering that it is difficult to determine the source of vapors in indoor air, such a re-opener could result in significant costs. Equity can review the vapor intrusion investigation data for your site and advise you if anything needs to be done currently, in light of the proposed standards.

We can help. Please contact Geoff Clark via email or phone 973-527-7451, x. 201; or Peter Jaran via email or phone 973-527-7451, x. 102; if you’d like to discuss how the proposed revisions to NJAC 7:26D could affect your property value and/or remediation. Additionally, Equity will issue comments to the proposed NJAC 7:26D revisions. Please contact us if you would like us to add your comments. The current schedule is for comments to be submitted to NJDEP by August 5, 2020. They are scheduled to be adopted in late 2020. Accordingly, please send your comments or contact us with questions by July 10, 2020.

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