New NJDEP Guidance Allows for Increased Use of Risk-Based Cleanups for Soil Contamination

March 27, 2014
MGKF Special Alert

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Site Remediation Program has issued new guidance allowing remediators to use capping remedies to address soils impacted by certain less mobile contaminants whose concentrations exceed NJDEP Impact to Groundwater Soil Remediation Standards (IGWSRS).  While NJDEP has long allowed capping to address exceedences of direct contact soil remediation standards, this action is a significant departure from NJDEP’s prior position which prohibited capping as a remedy for any contaminants that exceeded IGWSRS and required that such contaminants be addressed by more “active” remediation methods such as excavation or in-situ treatment. 

Inorganics (metals) and certain semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) listed in the guidance are eligible for the capping remedy.  The new guidance does not apply to volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  To make use of the capping remedy, site conditions must conform to a list of conditions related to the location of the cap with respect to the impacted soils and the physical condition of the cap.  Especially important is that only impermeable caps may be used.  NJDEP is currently developing another guidance document to address design and construction of caps.   

As with all capping remedies, a deed notice, a soils remedial action permit and, unless exempt, financial assurance for long term maintenance will be required. For further information, please call 484-430-5700 or MGKF Senior Technical Consultant Darryl Borrelli or attorneys Bruce Katcher or Jonathan Spergel.