DEP has made changes to their funding program that supports completion of environmental remediation projects by government and private entities, the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF). The changes are generally related to fiscal and schedule aspects. A summary of changes are listed below. For more information, please contact Kassidy Klink.
- 25% matching grants for innovative technology and limited restricted use remedial actions have been eliminated from the program.
- Annual grant caps to municipal/county/redevelopment authorities were reduced.
- The additional grant amount permitted in a Brownfield Development Area (BDA) was reduced.
- Annual loan caps were reduced.
- The statewide annual award cap for recreation/conservation; affordable housing; and renewable energy grants was reduced.
- At least 30% of the moneys in the fund shall be allocated for grants to municipalities, counties, or redevelopment entities for PAs, SIs, RIs, and RAs of a site not located in a BDA.
- Changes to the priority criteria, including adding “readiness to proceed” as a factor in prioritization of applications.
- NJEDA is required to adopt criteria for public entities that indicates that the property will be developed within a 3 year period from completion of the remediation.
- Sets deadlines for completing remediation steps based on the date the grant is awarded for: 2 years for Preliminary Assessments or Site Investigation and 5 years for Remedial Investigations.
- Supplemental grant applications must demonstrate that the initial grant/loan award was fully expended.
- The law took effect immediately.
The adoption of 7:26F Heating Oil Tank System Remediation Rules has apparently been delayed following the close of the public comment period in September 2017. Revisions to 7:14B Underground Storage Tanks were adopted in January 2018, triggering compliance with the new requirements for owners and operators. For more information, please contact Jeff Campbell.
Environmental forensics is a discipline for reconstructing contaminant discharge events in a scientifically defensible manner. Our forensic services are especially useful for identifying unknown contaminants, estimating contaminant discharge ages, and source discrimination. Our services are often requested for litigation support and to determine insurance coverage applicability. For more information, please see our forensics page and contact John Anton.
NJDEP has updated their Comingled Plume Technical Guidance, which provides technical approaches to demonstrate that overlapping groundwater plumes are present, how to manage this condition in current and future remedial decision-making, and how to comply with DEP requirements when this condition exists. The changes consist mostly of numerous minor administrative corrections, but there are a couple of notable changes relative to the goals of the document:
- the neutral party arbitration section has been deleted;
- Confirmed Discharge Notification form submittal is due within 14 days, not 45 days; and
- clarifies the “can’t sample” condition in Scenario D of Table 2.
For more information, please contact Carla Nascimento.
NJDEP has revised their Preliminary Assessment Technical Guidance to keep the document current relative to the purpose of the document, other guidance documents, current policy and regulations, and available tools and resources. Some of the changes include:
- additional wording has been added in several sections to reinforce that the full history of the property must be investigated under a PA, not just current or most recent operations;
- if there is evidence that a discharge has migrated off site, then an appropriate off-site investigation must be conducted;
- recognition of storage areas as a component of agricultural operations has been added
- expanded descriptions of Process Waste Stream and Wastewater Discharge History AOCs were added to clarify the difference between them;
- instruction to contact the site LSRP and utilize NJDEP Dataminer to ensure identification of past remedial activities;
- additional information, and referral to the Alt Fill Guidance, have been added to support decision making regarding backfill material used in older remedial efforts
- wording to better emphasize information sources for potential landfill uses were added;
- language clarifying that an AOC can be any location or feature on a property, not just contaminated AOCs known at the time, and all AOCs must be listed on the Case Inventory Document, not just those with known releases;
- language indicating that sampling should be recommended when there is “limited information regarding historical operations or AOCs”; and
- Loading areas associated with rail lines should always be should be a separate AOC, and not deferred with the rail line;
For more information on environmental due diligence, please contact Jacque Ulrich.
Previous versions of SRP guidance documents have been posted on a new Site Remediation Program web page: Site Remediation Guidance Library (Archive). The documents are grouped by technical, administrative, permit, and financial content. Current versions of all guidance are still accessed through the Site Remediation Guidance web page.
NJDEP has revised their Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance (VITG) document to provide changes to certain administrative and technical aspects to the process. Changes of note include:
- revised definitions of near slab and exterior soil gas samples;
- use of near slab soil gas samples, with results compared to the VISLs, is allowed instead of legal action when access to building interiors cannot be obtained;
- gas station buildings must be investigated when triggering conditions are present;
- background sources and development of site-specific vapor intrusion screening levels (VISL) should be considered;
- unoccupied buildings must be investigated, but indoor air can be delayed until change in use;
- additional details regarding step out sampling for VC and IEC conditions have been included;
- a new VI status type has been added: Indeterminate VI Pathway Status;
- background source lists have been updated;
- the building inspection form has been modified;
- as part of establishing a Classification Exception Area (CEA) for groundwater, the VI pathway must be included in the fate and transport discussion and a site-specific evaluation regarding how changes in property use or conditions above the CEA could affect potential vapors emanating from the plume.
For more information regarding vapor intrusion, please contact Eric Hoffmann.
NJDEP has posted guidance on the implementation of GWRS adopted as amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:9C Ground Water Quality Standards (GWQS) in the NJ Register. The action made permanent interim criteria for Class II-A aquifers established for twenty contaminants between 2007 and 2015, and reduces GWRS for three contaminants relative to their interim criteria. No actions are necessary for site with the contaminants that have not changed relative to their interim criteria. Actions are only necessary for the three contaminants for which the GWRS has decreased at sites that do not have a final remediation document, an approved RAW, or an approved RAR by July 16, 2018. For sites at which none of these documents are or will be in place, the GWRS are effective immediately. The three compounds for which the GWRS decreased are caprolactam, 4,6-dinitro-o-cresol. and 2-hexanone. The reduction of the GWRS for 2-hexanone by almost an order of magnitude is notable based on its common historical use as a solvent. For more information, please contact Jeff Campbell.
NJDEP announced proposed Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for 1,2,3-TCP, perfluorooctoanic acid (PFOA) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) of 30, 14 and 13 parts per trillion (ppt), respectively, and is requiring statewide testing of public drinking water systems for these contaminants as well as others such as radionuclides and arsenic. These compounds are also being added to requirements in the Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) Rules. Toxicology studies suggest adverse affects at low concentrations and these compounds are considered very persistent in the environment. PFOA was used in a wide variety of consumer products and industrial applications. PFNA was used in the manufacture of plastics. Several water supplies have been impacted. Please contact Jeff Campbell with your questions regarding compliance.
A New Jersey court rendered decision on a case involving eligibility for innocent party grants through the NJDEP’s Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF). The case involved an innocent party’s heirs that took ownership through intra-family trust transfers and included this eligibility in the HDSRF application. NJDEP rejected the eligibility based on the date of most recent property transfer, and not on the pre-1983 purchase by the parent that provided him innocent purchaser status. The court, however, decided the pre-1983 purchase date applies to the children and innocent party status is therefore appropriate. Please contact Rob Edgar for more information.
NJDEP has updated the Soil Remediation Standards (SRS) for nineteen contaminants through an administrative change to N.J.A.C. 7:26D Remediation Standards. The new SRS values are based on toxicity data contained in the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. The new SRS are effective immediately. The SRS values increased for eleven contaminants for both the non-residential and residential exposure scenarios. Of note are the solvents tetrachloroethene (PCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA), which increased by more than order of magnitude. In addition, several poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) typical of historic fill and diffuse anthropogenic pollution, have increased. Notable decreases include cyanide and the solvent trichloroethene (TCE). Please contact Kassidy Klink for further information.
NJDEP has proposed a new rule, 7:26F Heating Oil Tank System Remediation Rules, to establish minimum administrative and technical requirements for the remediation of a discharge of heating oil from a heating oil tank system. The rule includes a certain amount of flexibility for homeowners to vary from certain technical requirements and deal with residual soil contamination. Subchapter 2, General Remediation Requirements, provides an overview of the general steps, which are listed below, required to comply with the rules.
- notify DEP on discovery of release within 48 hours of discovery
- hire closure contractor (unless farm) to initiate closure activities
- hire an environmental professional to manage the project
- Remediate free product, soil and groundwater as needed
- Submit a Remedial Action Report for NJDEP processing and preparation of a No Further Action letter
Some important aspects of the rule include:
- persons responsible are allowed to leave “residual contamination” in place in certain circumstances;
- prescriptive technical requirements are in the regulation, not a separate guidance document;
- for soil remediation, the rule provides technical requirements to either remediate “while you dig” or pre-delineate, then excavate;
- mandates regulatory timeframes for free product and receptor issues; and
- if there are other contaminated areas of concern (CAOC) on site, or if the site is an ISRA project, then the LSRP can issue AOC-specific RAO for the UHOT or include it in site-wide RAO.
Please contact Jeff Campbell for further information
Until N.J.A.C. 7:26F is adopted, the NJDEP UHOT Guidance remains applicable, and it has recently undergone some changes. The guidance is a web page, located at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/unregulatedtanks/. The primary changes to the guidance include
- a responsible party can hire an LSRP to oversee and approve the work, with reminders about ethics and compliance with applicable regulations and guidance;
- an LSRP can issue a Response Action Outcome (RAO) for UHOTs when there are multiple areas of concern (AOC) on a Site, if the intent is to obtain a Site-wide RAO, or if the Site is regulated under the Industrial Site Recovery Act Rules (ISRA);
- the Unregulated Heating Oil Tank Questionnaire has been replaced with the UHOT System Remediation Form
- UHOT sites at which an immediate environmental concern (IEC) condition is present will be reviewed by another bureau in the Department. These sites return to the UHOT group to issue an NFA when IEC requirements have been met.
- also, higher complexity sites (ie offsite impact, surface water impact, etc) may be moved to another bureau. It is silent on who issues the NFA for a high complexity site that gets moved
Please contact Jeff Campbell for further information
Peak Environmental is pleased to announce the promotion of Carla Nascimento to an Associate of the firm. Carla brings more than 20 years of environmental consulting experience to her new position, and in the three years since joining Peak has demonstrated high level technical, managerial, and operational expertise. Carla is a Professional Geologist and Licensed Site Remediation Professional. She effectively uses her technical expertise, financial and staff management skills, and regulatory knowledge to mentor and develop our junior staff. Carla’s work product quality, and development of and adherence to company procedures and guidelines contribute significantly to the consistency and quality of company deliverables.
Congratulations to Brendan Leigh on his promotion to Project Scientist! Brendan joined Peak as a Staff Scientist two years ago fresh out of McGill University with a B.S. in Environmental Science. He has developed a strong understanding of the Field Sampling Procedures Manual and the use field instrumentation and equipment. He has taken a leadership role in field services, and has become a technical resource for obtaining data of known quality.
Peak Environmental has said goodbye to our Woodbridge office and moved to our new location at 26 Kennedy Boulevard in East Brunswick. Ken Nieuwenhuis and Eric Schlauch, our Managing Partners, officially opened the new office on Monday morning by cutting the ribbon with the entire staff in attendance.
The larger office provides room to grow, and is a new build-out designed for our staff to facilitate collaboration and training using contemporary layouts with state of the art technology platforms. We look forward to many years of providing environmental solutions for our customers from this location!
Please keep an eye out for an invitation to our Open House, coming soon!
Justine Anise has also joined Peak as a Staff Scientist. Justina graduated from Drew University in May with a dual major in Environmental Studies & Sustainability and Business. She is a member of the US Green Building Council. She has participated in an economic impact survey and in a forest restoration project. Justina will be supporting both remediation and due diligence services, where she will conduct a variety of tasks ranging from environmental database queries to field sampling events.
Peak welcomes Ben Sweeney to the Staff Scientist group. Ben graduated from Rutgers in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences and a minor in Biology. Among other places, Ben has worked at PetCo, Great Adventure, the Rutgers Geology Museum. He is a member of the Geological Society of America and the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists. Ben will be working in our remediation services group with responsibilities for the implementation of field activities, including collection of soil, groundwater and vapor samples, and office activities, including data management, graphic presentation, and interpretation.
Peak Environmental has hired a new Staff Scientist, Michael Klaser. Michael is a 10-year Navy veteran who earned a Master of Science in Geology from Rutgers University in 2017, building on his undergraduate degree in Geology, also from Rutgers. His work experience ranges from task supervisor duties on an Ohio Class Submarine to presenting results of a national-scale earthquake study at international geological conferences. Michael will be working in our remediation services group with responsibilities for the implementation of field activities, including collection of soil, groundwater and vapor samples, and office activities, including data management, graphic presentation, and interpretation.
Allison Kaplan has joined Peak as a Project Manager. Allison holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Sciences and has been working in the environmental industry since 2006. In that time, Allison has been managing technical, regulatory and financial aspects of due diligence, site characterization, and remediation projects through New Jersey’s Site Remediation Program. Email Allison.
Peak is pleased to announce that Gregory Cole has joined Peak as a Project Scientist. Greg holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science and has been working in the environmental industry since 2008. Greg’s industry experience includes managing field aspects of site characterization and remediation projects in various states, operation and maintenance of waste water treatment systems in San Diego, and conducting Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDA) relative to a recent large petroleum release in Gulf of Mexico. Email Greg.
In April, NJDEP issued Version 1.0 of their Comingled Plume Technical Guidance Document. The document provides technical methods for characterizing aquifers with contaminants from multiple sources that overlap as they migrate with groundwater flow. The Guidance defines typical comingling scenarios, and provides site characterization tools, such as modeling, forensics, and goal-oriented sampling, to establish a conceptual site model with multiple lines of evidence to support decision-making. The Guidance further provides information and considerations for resolving responsibilities between multiple potentially responsible parties through cooperative or independent investigations. Management of regulatory requirements for all releases to groundwater, such as Classification Exception Areas (CEA) and Remedial Action Permits (RAP), under comingled plume scenarios are also included. Last, the document also includes useful tools for investigators, including a checklist and decision matrix, example site descriptions, and additional details on NJDEP expectations regarding the use of statistics, forensics, and modeling for comingled plumes.
A remediation project with a Vapor Concern status recently required a detailed study to determine the source of trichloroethene (TCE) identified by indoor air monitoring for an active in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) treatment system. The potential sources were fugitive vapors from the ISCO system or from background sources in the warehouse above the treatment area, where a new tenant had moved in, but did not utilize or store solvents as part of their operation or inventory. However, field instrument readings from plastic wrapped inventory on pallets indicated their paper-based inventory was a potential source of volatile organic compounds (VOC). But the number of pallets made individual samples impractical and the variability of product made representative samples unobtainable. Therefore, Peak deployed a portable gas chromatograph (field GC) to investigate migration pathways of soil gas to indoor air, and collect and analyze numerous samples of inventory. The field GC analyzed over twenty (20) samples per day and provided immediate results. The GC analysis identified TCE concentrations in warehouse inventory samples that were several orders of magnitude higher than the NJDEP Vapor Intrusion Screening Limits. It was therefore concluded that preventative measures associated with the ISCO system were effective, and that the warehouse inventory was the source of TCE. The mitigation and monitoring program for the ISCO system was modified accordingly. In this case, the field GC proved a cost-saving solution capable of providing data quickly to allow rapid decision-making resolving the issue. Conventional sampling programs would have taken weeks to complete and may have required ISCO system shut down until the issue was resolved. For more information, contact Eric Hoffmann.
Michael Stopen has been promoted to Project Scientist! As a Staff Scientist in our property redevelopment services, Michael gained the experience and technical knowledge to consistently generate data of known quality. He has successfully sampled all media types, implemented health and safety requirements, and worked with construction contractors to manage soil within both environmental and construction requirements. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a Geology minor from Stockton University.
NJDEP Bureau of Underground Storage Tanks (BUST) is signaling that NJAC 7:14B, which has no expiration date, will be published in the NJ Register as a draft rule for re-adoption with changes. Some of the more significant changes relate to exempted tanks, Stage II vapor recovery requirements, dispenser containment requirements, and additional testing. Since vapor recovery during filling is now covered primarily by vehicle design, new construction will not require vapor recovery on fill hoses. However, this component must still be maintained on existing systems, inspectors will include this as a violation during inspections, and it cannot be removed as part of a modification to your tank system. Some additional proposed changes include:
- limited exemptions for emergency generator tanks will be removed;
- new dispensers now require secondary containment beneath them;
- ball floats no longer allowed – high level alarms must be installed;
- operator training standards;
- spill bucket testing once every 3 years;
- containment sump testing once every 3 years; and
- 30 day walkthrough inspections.
Please contact Bob Barnes to discuss UST rules.
Peak Environmental LLC is pleased to announce the promotion of Rob Edgar and Jeff Campbell to Partners in the firm. Since joining the firm as Associates in 2013, they have both significantly contributed to the growth and success of Peak.
Rob is a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) with more than 25 years of experience in the environmental due diligence, site investigation and site remediation arena. He is fluent with the regulations and guidance in New Jersey, especially those relevant to remediation under the Site Remediation Reform Act and the Industrial Site Recovery Act . Rob is currently assisting several clients with large scale brownfield redevelopment projects.
Jeff has been working in the environmental consulting industry since 1988 and is also an LSRP. He manages environmental projects for our clients in the manufacturing, petroleum, and insurance sectors. Jeff is currently directing several large scale in-situ chemical oxidation and bioremediation projects and has successfully managed remediation projects under the state regulations of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Washington, DC.
“Rob and Jeff were great additions to our senior management team in 2013, and their performance over the last few years has far exceeded our expectations,” said Ken Nieuwenhuis, Founding Partner of the firm. “Their excellent work ethic and qualifications strengthens our capabilities across a wide range of environmental disciplines.”
Partner Eric Schlauch added, “It’s a pleasure working with Jeff and Rob and I truly look forward to the future here at Peak. Their advancement to Partnership is a true testament to their hard work, as well as to the opportunities for professional growth for all of our staff here at Peak.”
We look forward to continually building the company on this stepping stone and becoming an ever-larger presence in the environmental remediation marketplace.
Matt Bruno has been promoted to Project Manager! Matt has been a key team member providing engineering support for our remediation services. In this capacity, he has applied knowledge gained through earning his M.S. in Environmental Engineering, which he completed earlier this year from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Matt has demonstrated skills implementing soil, groundwater and vapor investigations, and evaluating and implementing remedial actions for each, most recently successfully implementing injection-based remediation technologies.
Cory Lader has been promoted to Project Scientist! As a Staff Scientist, Cory routinely implemented technical aspects of site investigations, including soil, groundwater and vapor sampling. In addition, he has supported installation and operation of remediation systems addressing soil and groundwater contamination. Cory holds a B.S. in Geosciences from Penn State University.
Chelsea Carter has been promoted to Project Scientist! As a Staff Scientist, Chelsea conducted site inspections and compiled required background information to prepare environmental due diligence reports supporting property transfers. In addition, she has participated in site investigations through implementation of field sampling plans to consistently generate data of known quality. With this foundation of skills, Chelsea has become our newest Project Scientist. Chelsea holds a B.S. in Geosciences from Penn State University.
Peak is happy to announce the hiring of Daniel Chedid as a Staff Scientist. Daniel is a 2015 graduate of Rutgers University, where he majored in Environmental Planning and Design (B.S.) and minored in Geography. While a student, he interned with the City of New Brunswick Planning Department and was later appointed to the New Brunswick Zoning Board. Daniel has also been generous with his time for community service, serving at several levels up to President of an organization dedicated to helping students adapt to college life, and completing a service trip to Africa in 2013 to improve a local community.
Charles Podesta also joined the team in October as a Staff Scientist. Charles is a recent graduate of Kean University, where he earned a B.S. in Earth Science and Geoscience. Charles comes to us from the health industry, in which he worked full time while he finished his degree. In addition to his degree in geology, his experience at a busy hospital managing patient flow and the staff needed to move them, will be an asset to Peak and our clients.
Peak is pleased to announce that Megan Stewart, a 2015 Penn State graduate, joined the firm in October as a Staff Scientist! Megan earned a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management (Environmental Science Option) and dual minors in Sustainability Leadership and Water Sheds & Water Resources. Megan will support our site remediation services. While at Penn State, Megan took the time to create a student organization that facilitated information exchange and development of professional relationships throughout the Environmental Sciences department.
Peak’s Accounting Department has also grown with the addition of Nancy McGuire in October! Nancy has held accounting positions in the public sector, the real estate industry and in the healthcare industry. She has been responsible for payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, and other financial aspects of business accounting, adding a wealth of experience to our Accounting Department. Nancy’s role at Peak will focus on payroll and accounts payable.
NJDEP has updated their modeling tool (the J&E Spreadsheet) that simulates Vapor Intrusion, which is the movement of contaminants from groundwater, through soil, then into adjacent buildings. The changes are intended keep the tool current by updating its database relative to chemical properties, toxicity of contaminants, and default physical values considered more typical for New Jersey.
While NJDEP limits the variables that can be changed, the J&E spreadsheet remains a valuable tool for applying site-specific conditions to decision-making regarding the actual risk present at a property. However, early project planning must consider potential future use of this tool to ensure appropriate data is obtained to support its application. For additional information, please contact Matthew Bruno.
While historic fill is a discharge as defined by regulation, NJDEP has established policy that does not require physical removal or treatment of this material when encountered. Instead, NJDEP allows use of engineering and institutional controls to meet statutory requirements for the protection of human health and the environment. This essentially leads to costs to construct an engineering control, then a long term obligation under a Remedial Action Permit (RAP) to maintain the control, potentially at significant cost. Therefore, understanding the technical tools available to evaluate historic fill on a particular site and develop a cost effective solution is critical. For further information, please contact Joe Romeo.
In August, NJDEP published Version 2.0 of their Historically Applied Pesticide Site Technical Guidance (HAP Guidance) document providing methods meeting regulatory requirements of N.J.A.C 7:26E for these materials. The HAP Guidance provides methods for researching historical use of a property to identify potential historical application, and how to proceed once this determination is made. The document includes detailed information and discussion regarding:
- technical aspects, such as sample location, depth and frequency, for a soil investigation and delineation;
- determining the need for and implementing a groundwater investigation;
- ecological evaluations relative to HAPs;
- remedial alternatives; and
- attainment requirements and options.
The HAP Guidance document also includes numerous other considerations, such as:
- natural background investigation methods for arsenic;
- a remediation deferral option based on current and future land use;
- compliance options, such as averaging; and
- a Response Action Outcome (RAO) notice for LSRP use when pesticides were potentially applied but not investigated.
Under N.J.A.C. 7:26C Administrative Rules for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (ARRCS), persons responsible for the remediation of contaminated sites are subject to Annual Remediation Fees (ARF) and Remedial Action Permit (RAP) fees specified in Subchapter 4, and authorized by the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA). NJDEP has issued its Annual Site Remediation Reform Act Program Fee Calculation Report, a budget document in which fees paid to the Department are an important component. As of July 1, both the ARF and RAP fees have been increased. The amount of the increase varies by Category for ARFs, and by activity and media for RAP fees. Joseph Romeo can provide additional information, which is also available on the NJDEP Fee Calculation web page.
Recent college graduate Timothy Greendyk joined Peak in June as Staff Scientist. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from William Patterson University, where he graduated cum laude. In 2015, Tim was a first annual recipient of the Emeryl Davis Scholarship from the New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association (LSRPA) to encourage college students to pursue careers in the environmental field. Tim was chosen for this scholarship based on faculty recommendations, grade point average, his description of his career goals, and work experience, which for Tim included an internship at Peak in 2015.
Jay Eichberger has been promoted to Project Manager. Jay has been at Peak since 2014, and has been a key team member providing site investigation and remediation services. He also holdskey responsibilities for maintaining our NJDEP Laboratory Certification for field analytical parameters. Jay has participated in numerous projects conductingsoil, groundwater and vapor investigation, construction air monitoring; building materials management; and reporting. Jay has also conducted numerous remedial actions utilizing injection technologies.
Dan Cirenza was recently promoted to Project Scientist. As a Staff Scientist, Dan gained the experience and technical knowledge to consistently generate data of known quality, which he has applied as a key member of our property redevelopment services. Dan has successfully sampled all media types, implemented health and safety requirements, and worked with construction contractors to manage soil within both environmental and construction requirements.
In June, NJDEP published a new technical guidance document, Planning for and Response to Catastrophic Events at Contaminated Sites, prepared in response to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which included the loss of hazardous materials. The Guidance is intended to support planning for and responding to a catastrophic event in the course of implementing an environmental remediation project. With proper planning, disruptions caused by a variety of catastrophic events during remedial action implementation can be minimized. The Guidance was developed to support LSRPs and Persons Responsible primarily to:
• identify potential site specific risk associated with a variety of catastrophic events;
• plan for resiliency in the design and implementation of site remedies;
• retro-fit vulnerable sites to decrease disruption to existing systems; and
• establish communication networks, chain-of-command structures, and procedures to be used during catastrophic events.
The document provides specific planning information with detailed discussion of factors to consider, identification of risks and mitigation thereof, response actions and recovery steps, and re-assessment of plans following an incident. Additional information regarding the Guidance is available through Eric Hoffmann.
Also in June, NJDEP announced that the NJ Department of Health published a fact sheet presenting potential health risks associated with trichloroethene (TCE) due to short-term exposure, and notes that current regulatory response requirements only address long-term exposure scenarios. The fact sheet presents this compound’s physical and chemical characteristics, provides general exposure scenarios, and highlights short-term exposure concerns. Additional sources of information from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry are also provided in the fact sheet. Robert Barnes, our health and safety program manager, can provide additional information.
In May, NJDEP published a revised technical guidance document, Landfills Investigation Technical Guidance (Landfills Guidance), providing investigation methods meeting regulatory requirements of N.J.A.C 7:26E-3.11 and -4.6. The document includes information and discussion regarding:
• how to determine whether an investigation is required;
• compliance options for meeting landfill investigation requirements in the regulations;
• appropriate investigation protocols to address unique issues found at landfills; and
• recommendations for sampling frequencies to properly delineate waste at landfills.,
The Landfill Guidance provides methods for determining whether a landfill is actually present, and how to determine its extent, characterize its contents, define existing cap or cover, and identify and delineate associated contaminants. Landfill investigations can be discussed with Jeff Campbell, or go to the Landfill Guidance. Here are some additional landfill facts from New Jersey regulations.
• Municipal solid waste landfills are specifically excluded from the regulatory definition of historic fill.
• Presence of a nearby landfill must be identified in a vapor intrusion investigation being conducted for other potential sources.
• A Remedial Action Workplan for a landfill must be submitted to NJDEP to obtain their written approval.
• Construction of buildings to be occupied by a sensitive use is prohibited on landfills that require engineering controls for landfill gas or leachate.
• Landfill closures and post-closure management are also regulated by the Solid Waste Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:26.
Peak staff members John Anton and Kassidy Klink have recently published articles supporting the technical and administrative aspects of the environmental industry.
1. John Anton had a forensic paper published in the Journal of Environmental Protection: “A Forensic Approach for Assessing Modes of Subsurface Petroleum Releases“. In this article, John describes a technical method for distinguishing between petroleum released over a long period of time and that from a one time, catastrophic release.
2. Kassidy Klink recently published an article in New Jersey Business: “How to Choose the Right LSRP for You and Your Business”. In this article in New Jersey Business, Kassidy provides guidance on choosing an LSRP to persons responsible for remediation.
On April 23, 2016 Peak Environmental LLC helped area residents implement water conservation measures by participating in the Woodbridge Township’s Earth Day Fair held at the Woodbridge Community Center. Peak staff presented a rain barrel demonstration, which included some creative and fun participation by local children as they helped to decorate the rain barrel. The event, which was well attended and highlighted by visits from Mayor John E. Mc Cormac and members of the Municipal Council, provided another great opportunity for Peak staff to take local environmental action in concert with the Woodbridge Green Team and the Woodbridge Chamber of Commerce. More information can be found at the Greenable Woodbridge Facebook page.
SRP recently posted a re-affirmation of requirements for Persons Responsible to investigate the potential migration of contaminants from sites where discharges have occurred to any adjacent surface waters. This is necessary to comply with the regulatory requirement that “…current and historic contaminant migration from all sites must be characterized and delineated to the extent of that site’s contamination”. Regarding surface water, this would specifically include N.J.A.C. 7:26E-1.16 Receptor Evaluation/Ecological,-3.6 Site Investigation/Surface Water and Sediment and -4.8, Remedial Investigation for Ecological Receptors. A summary of the steps necessary to comply are included. Some notes of importance:
• These rules apply to all surface water bodies, including “heavily industrialized rivers”.
• The term surface water includes associated sediments.
• When necessary remediate all contamination above criteria related to the site.
• Sediment should be remediated to the ecological screening criteria or site-specific risk-based remediation goal.
• For surface water, the New Jersey Surface Water Quality Standards, N.J.A.C. 7:9B, are the minimum remediation standards.
• For ground water discharging to surface water, the New Jersey Ground Water Quality Standards, N.J.A.C. 7:9C, require compliance with both the ground water and surface water quality standards.
• Background and/or regional source contamination can be considered for all media. The document includes a discussion of these issues, plus consideration of diffuse anthropogenic pollution, permitted surface water discharges, and other unavoidable discharges.
• Investigation overlap with CERCLA investigations is also discussed.
Peak Environmental LLC employees showed their green again this year at the Woodbridge St Patrick’s Day Parade! It was a great success run by the American Irish Association. Many participated and many watched. Peak shared candy and bubbles with the enthusiastic crowd. More information can be found at the American Irish website.
A noteworthy issue from mainstream news is the identification of lead in public drinking water supplies in Michigan and more recently in New Jersey. Peak Environmental LLC can help in determining whether lead is present in your drinking water, at what level, and how to manage it if it is present.
The latest addition to Peak’s staff is Matthew Bruno, who joined us in February. Matthew has 4 years of experience in New Jersey and neighboring states working on investigation and remediation sites, as well as due diligence projects. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Rutgers, and he is completing a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Matthew joins the Peak Environmental technical team supporting our eight Licensed Site Remediation Professionals and two Professional Engineers, and complementing our full contingent of environmental professionals meeting our clients’ needs in the Mid-Atlantic region.
For properties at which the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has filed a lien against a real property pursuant Spill Compensation and Control Act (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23), the NJDEP published administrative guidance that outlines the process by which the owner of property may challenge the lien. The NJDEP files these liens as a mechanism to recover public funds it has spent to address releases of hazardous substances. When contested, a decision as to whether the basis for the lien is adequate is made by an Administrator, but only after the information provided by both parties is passed through a Neutral Agency Officer for review and preparation of a recommendation to the Administrator. The decision makers are defined and process is summarized in the guidance document.
Prior to filing the lien, the NJDEP must give the property owner prior notice of their intent, including the amount incurred. After filing the lien, NJDEP must provide notice of opportunity to contest the lien and how to access their Lien Filing Record, which is their file of documents and information supporting the lien. The property owner has 60 days to request an opportunity to contest, and include specific information supporting the assertion that the NJDEP did not have reasonable basis to file the lien.The NJDEP can reject the request for administrative reasons or prepare a replay for submittal to the Neutral Agency Officer. All documents are submitted to Neutral Agency Officer, then on to the Administrator for a decision, which represents the final NJDEP action on the matter.
Additional details, including process timeframes and required content of submittals, can be found in the guidance, Spill Act Liens and the Procedures for a Property Owner to Contest a Spill Act Lien, or by contacting Rob Edgar.
In January 2016, NJDEP started the new year with several postings on the Site Remediation Program (SRP) web page. The postings included new information for the Online portal, revisions to their off-site source guidance, release of new technical guidance for characterizing groundwater discharges to surface water bodies, and an updated version of their Known Contaminated Sites List database. In February, NJDEP continued the trend by announcing new training modules and a legal update regarding Spill Act liens.
First, NJDEP announced that the use of the Online Portal to submit a Remedial Investigation Report and Form will be mandatory as of April 3, 2015, as required by rule adoption in January. Additional information is available by contacting Peak or from the announcement page.
Second, NJDEP posted version 2.0 of their Administrative Guidance for Addressing Unknown Off-Site Sources of Contamination, which provides procedures for persons responsible to follow when they identify contamination not related to the discharge they are investigating or remediating (subject site). In order to obtain a Response Action Outcome (RAO) for the unrelated contamination, the person responsible is required to investigate it pursuant to either N.J.A.C. 7:26E-3.9 or -3.10, both of which require a preliminary assessment (PA) for the subject site and, if necessary, a site investigation (SI) pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:26E-3 to determine whether a source of the observed unrelated contamination exists on site. Additional information is available by contacting Peak or from the NJDEP guidance.
Third, NJDEP posted their Characterization of Contaminated Ground Water Discharge to Surface Water Technical Guidance, a new technical document providing persons responsible, and their LSRP, with an additional tool supporting compliance with the statutory obligation to remediate. Specifically, this guidance provides evaluation methods to capture this aspect of site conditions in the conceptual site model (CSM) when contaminated ground water has the potential to impact, or has impacted, surface water. The guidance provides data collection methods, interpretation considerations, remedial alternatives and monitoring guidelines. Additional information is available by contacting Peak or from the NJDEP guidance.
Last, the NJDEP provided notice that they have updated the KCSL, which tracks active, pending and closed remediation sites subject to SRP rules. The update is a search page on their Data Miner site that allows searches by county and municipality for all sites and their activities in the NJDEP system.
• November 2015: Peak will be participating in a Remediation Workshop on Wednesday November 18, 2015 in Parsippany, NJ. Eric Schlauch, one of our Partners, will be presenting “ISCO Remediation of a Pesticide Plume to Unrestricted Use Remediation Standards”, a case study concerning technical details of the in-situ remediation of groundwater at a former industrial facility. More information is available at the Remediation Workshop website.
Peak Environmental LLC (Peak) is a proud member of the Woodbridge Township Green Team, which promotes sustainable local action to help tackle global environmental issues. Peak, in collaboration with the Middlesex Water Company, has prepared the ‘Wise Water Use & Stormwater Management’ initiative. As part of this initiative, Peak employees:
(1) Designed and built a rain barrel which will be donated to Woodbridge Township;
(2) Created educational community outreach materials on the benefits and construction of rain gardens and ‘rainscaping’; and
(3) Published information and instructional materials about rain barrels.
The ‘Wise Water Use & Stormwater Management’ materials prepared by the Middlesex Water Company and Peak will be published on the Greenable Woodbridge website. Peak was also the focus of a recent episode of the Greenable Woodbridge local television program which promoted the use of rain barrels in our local community.
Peak Environmental proudly announces the addition of Joe Fallon to our executive staff! Mr. Fallon has been a leader in New Jersey’s environmental industry for over 35 years, having held key positions in the public and private sectors. In the public sector, he served as the Assistant Director of the ECRA (now ISRA) Program at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). In the environmental consulting industry, he was the founding Principal and former President of a New Jersey firm, and has participated in numerous regulatory advisory groups and committees. In joining Peak Environmental, he remains in the private sector but maintains his public sector standing as a Board Member on the NJ Site Remediation Professional Board. As a result, Mr. Fallon brings extensive client advocacy skills to Peak. He has developed and negotiated solutions to environmental issues at large industrial facilities and government complexes throughout the northeast for private and public sector clients. His current and past positions have given him exceptional knowledge and experience regarding NJDEP policies and procedures, and he has developed close, long term relationships with NJDEP regulators. This will provide superior support to Peak Environmental’s LSRPs, and ultimately our clients, in their interpretation and application of regulations to the resolution of complex environmental issues that they face.
Joe joins our growing contingent of seven LSRPs and environmental professionals meeting our clients’ needs in the Mid-Atlantic region.
• May 2015: We are proud to announce that Peak employees Kassidy Klink and Eric Hoffman are now New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRP). Mr. Klink and Mr. Hoffman both passed the March 2015 LSRP exam, and they join the six other LSRPs employed at Peak Environmental LLC. Mr. Klink, a Professional Geologist, is a Project Manager with over 8 years of professional experience. Mr. Hoffman is a Senior Project Manager with over 10 years of professional experience.
• May 2015: This Technical Guidance provides tools and strategies to aid the investigator in developing lines of evidence to support the determination that one or more contaminants are migrating onto a site from an off-site property. It describes the regulatory requirements outlined in N.J.A.C. 7:26E-3.9 for investigating and documenting the presence of an off-site source of contamination, and presents the administrative approach for notifying the Department and issuing a Remedial Action Outcome (RAO) to address the contamination.
This Technical Guidance was developed with stakeholder input by the NJDEP Off-site Source Investigation Technical Guidance Committee. The Department would like to thank Committee Chairs George Nicholas and Christina Page, and all Committee Members for their time and effort in developing this Guidance document. The Technical Guidance and associated Response to Comments document are available for viewing and downloading on the SRP’s Guidance Library webpage at www.nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance.
Technical guidance may be used immediately upon issuance. However, the Department recognizes the challenge of using newly issued technical guidance when a remediation affected by the guidance may have already been conducted or is currently in progress. To provide for the reasonable implementation of new technical guidance, the Department will allow a 6-month “phase-in” period between the date the technical guidance is issued final (or revised) and the time it should be used.
• May 2015: Peak notes that the New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute (DWQI) is currently developing maximum contaminant level (MCL) recommendations for three perfluorinated compounds. The request for public input on this DWQI effort can be found here
• May 2015: Fill Material Guidance for SRP Sites: The Department announces the availability of the revised “Alternative and Clean fill Guidance for SRP Site (Dec 2011),” now entitled “Fill Material Guidance for SRP Sites.” Revisions to this guidance were made by the guidance committee, which consists of NJDEP staff and Stakeholder representatives. The major revisions include the title of the document, the addition of a new section to address licensed quarry/mine material, and an expanded section on pre-approvals needed for excess fill volume.
This Technical Guidance and the revision log can be accessed on the Site Remediation webpage in the Guidance Library section at: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/srp/guidance/.
Technical guidance may be used immediately upon issuance. However, the Department recognizes the challenge of using newly issued technical guidance when a remediation affected by the guidance may have already been conducted or is currently in progress. To provide for the reasonable implementation of new or revised technical guidance, the Department will allow a 6-month “phase-in” period between the date the technical guidance is issued and the time it should be used.
• April 2015: Peak Environmental LLC is growing! We would like to welcome some of our newest employees: Lauryn Ziskind, Office Manager ; Dan Cirenza, Staff Scientist ; Elizabeth Scheuerman, Staff Scientist ; Chelsea Carter, Staff Scientist ; Michael Stopen, Staff Scientist ; and our newest hire Matt Watson, Project Scientist.
• March 2015: Peak Environmental LLC participated in the March 13, 2015 Redevelopment Forum, New Brunswick. It was a great event that allowed us to exchange ideas with a variety of people connected to our business. Thank you to everyone that stopped by the Peak booth to discuss environmental aspects of redevelopment projects!
• October 2014: Administrative Guidance – contamination that is suspected to be unrelated to a known discharge undergoing remediation. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is announcing the availability of administrative guidance for use by Licensed Site Remediation Professionals and Subsurface Evaluators when encountering contamination that is suspected to be unrelated to a known discharge undergoing remediation. The administrative guidance identifies steps to follow when contamination is encountered on or off the site undergoing remediation as well as situations involving residential unregulated heating oil underground storage tanks.
The guidance is located in the Site Remediation Guidance Library on the Department’s Site Remediation Program (SRP) webpage www.nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance/, under Administrative Guidance (http://nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance/#lsrp_eval_admin_guidance).
• September 2014: The Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (Technical Requirements) at N.J.A.C. 7:26E-1.8 define remediation to include a remedial action. The Technical Requirements further define remedial action such that a remedial action continues as long as an engineering control or an institutional control is needed to protect the public health and safety and the environment, and until all unrestricted use remediation standards are met.” Therefore, a person who is implementing a remedial action that includes an engineering or institutional control is conducting remediation, and that person is required to hire a licensed site remediation professional (LSRP) pursuant to the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (ARRCS; see N.J.A.C. 7:26C-2.3(a) and (b)).
• July 2014: Peak Environmental LLC launches our new website! Did you know that Peak has grown from less than 15 to more than 30 employees since 2011? Our growth has spurred us to roll out a fresh new look, and our website now provides a more detailed summary of “who we are” and “what we do”. So please browse our site and enjoy our new look!
• June 2014: Carla Nascimento joins Peak as an LSRP and Senior Project Manager. Carla is a Geologist with more than 15 years of experience in the environmental consulting field, with an emphasis on managing complex hydrogeologic investigation and remediation projects throughout the US and abroad.
• August 2013: Jeffrey S. Campbell joins our staff as an LSRP and an Associate of the firm. Mr. Campbell is a
Geologist with more than 20 years of experience in site characterization, contaminant
investigation, and remediation under state and federal regulations.
• September 2012: Robert M. Edgar joins our staff as an LSRP and an Associate of the firm. Mr. Edgar brings more
than 22 years of environmental consulting experience, with particular emphasis on the
investigation and remediation of Brownfield redevelopment sites.