As of May 7, 2012, the phase-in period for implementing the Site Remediation Reform Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq. (SRRA), and related amendments to the Brownfield and Contaminated Sites Act (Brownfield Act), the Spill Compensation and Control Act, and the Industrial Site Recovery Act has ended. As of that date, “all remediations in the State of New Jersey, without regard to when remediation was initiated, are to proceed under the supervision of a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP), without NJDEP approval….”
An idea such as this calls for a major role reversal within the industry! Instead of being viewed as the “white hats” while the NJDEP took on more of the “black hat” persona, it is now the environmental consultants /LSRP who are being portrayed as the black hats with the new program in place.
Before the program was set in place, an environmental consultant would be hired as a knowledgeable and trusted advisor. The NJDEP was seen as an organization that would demand an excessive amount of sampling with remedies set at overly expensive rates while the consultant acted as their client’s advocate. Now that the LSRP program has taken effect, the client is no longer meant to be the LSRP’s highest priority, but it is the protection of public health and the environment. Instead of responding to NJDEP’s “letters of demand”, they are to follow the regulations and guidance manuals.
It now appears to the client that the LSRP is making the demands instead of NJDEP, the “black hat”. For example, if I had a client in a community that currently operates on city water, but I tell them that we need to conduct a well study per the requirements for Receptor Evaluation , they may think that I am just trying to generate more work so that our team can pocket more of a profit. In actuality, it is the regulations and guidance manuals requiring the study. Even by providing the appropriate forms and/or pertinent sections of the regulations and/or guidance manuals, the client may not review or understand them or care to listen, just knowing it is costing them. Who is to blame: the LSRP.
While it may look like the LSRP”s/environmental consultants are trying to pull some sort of shady business, know that we are just doing our jobs in a realm that works best for the State of New Jersey. We are still the advocates for the client and we are still on your side but now respond not to “NJDEP’s letters of demand” but “regulations and guidance manuals of demand”.
Finally, what good is an RAO that does not comply with the regulations and/or guidance manuals, will either be withdrawn or invalidated or create additional liability or costs to the client, not to mention not protecting public health and the environment?