|NJDEP PFAS INFORMATION
In August 2021, NJDEP posted a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list on their Emerging Contaminant web page to provide additional information to assist the regulated community, which includes all sites within the NJDEP Site Remediation Program (SRP), with compliance. The FAQ list includes current requirements for initial site evaluations, when to submit results of evaluations, notification requirements when emerging contaminants are found, and how to manage public notice, Remediation Funding Source (RFS), Remedial Action Permit (RAP) certifications, regulatory deadlines, and Response Action Outcome (RAO) Notices for the site. On the technical side, some clarification on a variety of site investigation components is provided, including:
In summary, NJDEP continues to advance their emerging contaminants requirements intended to protect human health and the environment. Contact Jeffrey Campbell (email@example.com) to discuss management of emerging contaminants at your Site.
May 2022 Remedial Action Deadline
Many site remediation cases at which persons responsible to conduct remediation (PRCR) were required to complete the remedial action (RA) by May 6, 2021, which is the statutory timeframe defined by the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA). These cases received a one year extension of this mandatory deadline to May 6, 2022 by New Jersey Executive Order No. 103. While an extension is beneficial, proper planning is still necessary to ensure your submittal is on time and compliant.
If your RA includes institutional and engineering controls, then completing and submitting associated documents is required to satisfy the deadline. This can include establishing or updating a Classification Exception Area (CEA) for groundwater, recording a Deed Notice (DN) for soil, constructing engineering controls, and submitting Remedial Action Permit (RAP) Applications. RAP Applications which must be approved by the Department to satisfy the deadline, making it a critical step. NJ regulations give the NJDEP 120 days to review RAP Applications. Therefore, in order to meet the May 6, 2022 RA deadline, required documents and applications should be submitted to NJDEP no later than December 6, 2021 to allow DEP review, time to respond to their comments, and time to issue a Response Action Outcome (RAO), which is also required to satisfy the deadline.
If current planning indicates that you cannot meet the deadline, an extension request can be submitted to NJDEP between November 6, 2021 and March 6, 2022, The regulations do not limit the amount of time you can request, however, the justification must be appropriate and very detailed. Also, unlike a regulatory deadline extension request, there is no guarantee that NJDEP will grant the extension for a mandatory timeframe. Please contact Jeff Campbell to discuss your project.
Marco Michanowicz, Staff Scientist. Peak Environmental is delighted to announce the addition of Staff Scientist Marco Michanowicz to our organization! Marco is a 2021 graduate of Rider University where he majored in Environmental Science and minored in Sustainability Studies. Marco has entered our technical training program where he will learn to support field operations and data management.
Jennifer Sabbak, Staff Scientist. Peak Environmental is happy to announce the hiring of Staff Scientist Jennifer Sabbak! She joins us shortly after graduating from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Science and a minor in Environmental Studies. Jennifer will also complete our technical training program to support field operations and data management for our many remediation projects.
NJ State Well Drillers Appoint Eric Hoffmann to Board
Eric Hoffmann, a Senior Project Manager at Peak, has been appointed to the State Well Drillers and Pump Installers Examining and Advisory Board by the NJDEP Acting Commissioner, Shawn LaTourette! Eric’s career has included use of numerous drilling methods, and development of innovative drilling strategies. His technical knowledge will contribute to Board’s efforts to protect and preserve groundwater. Peak congratulates Eric on this great accomplishment! Eric can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Hires at Peak!
Kristen Castronuovo, Staff Scientist. Kristen is a 2020 graduate of Rider University where she majored in Environmental Science, was on the Dean’s List, and received an Honor in Leadership. We are happy to have her aboard to enter our training program and support tasks in field work and remediation.
Steven Spreitzer, Project Scientist. Steven brings over three years of experience with him to Peak. He attended SUNY New Paltz where he obtained his B.S. in Geology and University of Maine where he obtained a Masters in Earth and Climate Sciences. His experience includes UST oversight and removal, remediation reporting, Phase 1 and Phase II Site Assessments, sample collection and data analysis. We are glad to have an experienced new member of the field team.
Carly Atkins, Project Manager. Carly brings over nine years of industry experience with her and has worked on a wide range of projects including investigation, environmental monitoring, and remediation planning. Her experience includes development of excavation and sample delineation plans; supervision of drilling activities and contractors; and sample management for multi-media sampling events. Carly has also assisted with technical reports and environmental compliance activities. We look forward to her contributing her knowledge to our projects.
ASTM E1527 Phase I ESA Standard Changes Coming
ASTM International is currently updating its environmental assessment protocol prescribed in ASTM E1527 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process (Phase I ESA). The current version, E1527-13, was published in 2013. The projected timeframe for the new standard to be published is Fall 2021. Changes in the new standard to be aware of include the following.
- The 180-day shelf life of a Phase I, which is currently based on the report date, will now be defined by the earliest date that each component of the report was completed (i.e. site inspection, interviews, database searches, requests for regulatory files, etc.).
- Emergingcontaminants are not expected to be included in the standard since they are not on the CERCLA hazardous substances list. However, the Environmental Professional may choose to include review of emerging contaminants as a non-scope consideration similar to asbestos, lead-based paint and radon. It should be noted that combination Phase I ESA/Preliminary Assessment Reports must include the evaluation of emerging contaminants to satisfy regulations at the state level.
- The new version will includea decision flow chart to help the Environmental Professional more easily and consistently determine whether a condition should be considered a recognized environmental condition (REC), a controlled recognized environmental condition (CREC), a historical recognized environmental condition (HREC) or a de minimis condition. Examples for each will also be included.
Please contact Jacque Ulrich or Rob Edgar for additional information or to discuss your project needs.
On February 1, 2021, NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette authorized, through a Notice to Executive Order 103, the extension of timeframes mandated by NJDEP regulations to provide the regulated community additional relief during the coronavirus pandemic. The extension applies to sites administered under Underground Storage Tank rules, Industrial Site Recovery Act Rules (ISRA), Heating Oil Tank System Remediation rules, and other releases of hazardous materials subject to the Site Remediation Reform Act. To utilize the waiver, the PRCR must have retained a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) to manage the remediation. The timeframe extensions apply to specific tasks and report submittals required by the regulations, including:
- Preliminary Assessments/Site Investigations;
- Receptor Evaluations;
- Non-aqueous phase liquid response, delineation and reporting;
- Immediate environmental concern response, delineation and reporting;
- Remedial Investigation; and
- Remedial Action.
The waiver includes both regulatory and mandatory timeframes, and sites under an Administrative Consent Order are also included. In addition, further extensions for a site can be requested when necessary. The order does not provide relief to mitigate immediate impacts to human receptors. In addition, while deadlines are extended, remedial activities at all release sites must continue. Contact Peak to discuss the effects of this notice on your project.
Congratulations to Allison Kaplan on her promotion to Senior Project Manager! Allison joined Peak in May 2017 after spending 10 years at another consulting firm. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Sciences from Rutgers University and is licensed as a Professional Geologist in the State of New York. In addition to her Project Manager duties conducting investigation and remediation of impacted sites, Allison is a valued member of Peak’s Marketing Committee who has contributed her time to business development activities with outside organizations such as the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the East Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce . We expect Allison will continue to be a key contributor at Peak by flourishing in her new role.
Hats off to Matt Bruno on his promotion to Senior Project Manager! Matt was hired in February 2016 as a Project Scientist with 5 years of industry experience and was quickly promoted to Project Manager later that year. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University as well as a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from NJIT In addition, he is certified as a Radon Mitigation Specialist. While adeptly managing projects, Matt also is a key contributor to Peak’s Health & Safety Committee. Matt will continue to provide effective engineering services in his new position.
Peak Environmental welcomed its newest Staff Scientist, Grace Billy, on July 13, 2020. Grace brings some industry experience and holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resource Management and Minors in Environmental Engineering and Geography from Penn State University. We are happy to have her onboard to enter our training program and conduct support tasks for investigation and remediation projects!
Alyssa Cawley has been promoted to Project Manager! Alyssa has conducted countless ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessments and NJDEP Preliminary Assessment Reports. As a key member of our duediligence group, her work provides clients with innocent purchaser protections, identifies environmental risk associated with a property, and develops solutions to manage that risk. Alyssa also supports Peak operations through work on our Events Committee, ensuring our internal events run smoothly. With her skills and experience, we know she will succeed as a Project Manager!
Peak Environmental LLC has promoted Chelsea Lader to Project Manager! Chelsea joined Peak in 2014 after earning a Bachelor of Science in Geosciences from Penn State University. Chelsea’s technical experience and training include due diligence inspections, sampling of multiple media, and generating data of known quality on a variety of projects. She is also a member of our Green Team, which promotes sustainable practices in our operations, community and projects. As a Project Manager, Chelsea she will rely on project experience, project manager training, and her technical and regulatory skills to advance projects on our clients’ behalf!
Peak Environmental LLC has rehired Staff Scientist, Michael Klaser. A 10-year U.S. Navy veteran, Michael originally joined Peak in June 2017 after receiving his Master of Science degree from Rutgers University, building on his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, also from Rutgers. He left us 8 months later to pursue an opportunity overseas. His prior work experience ranges from task supervisor duties on a US Navy Ohio Class Submarine to presenting results of a national-scale earthquake study at international geological conferences. Michael has returned to the USA for good, and we are happy he has rejoined Peak’s remediation services group. His responsibilities include the implementation of field activities, including collection of soil, groundwater and vapor samples, and office activities, including data management, graphic presentation, and interpretation.
April 2020 Underground Storage Tank Management
When economic conditions, emergency regulations, health factors or other variables require an operator to stop using an underground storage tank system, certain steps must be taken to ensure compliance.
The Underground Storage Tank Rules (NJAC 7:14B) allow owners/operators to take their USTs “out of service”, which is defined as a tank system to which no product is being introduced or dispensed pending a decision by the operator to either close or re-use the tank. In this situation, the operator must:
submit an amended Questionnaire to NJDEP;
maintain compliance with all regulations applicable to the tanks;
maintain release detection monitoring;
maintain corrosion protection; and
maintain spill and overfill prevention practices.
If the tank system will be out of service for more than 3 months, then the operator must follow Temporarily Out-of-Service guidelines in American Petroleum Institute Publication 1604 Closure of Underground Petroleum Storage Tanks. If secondary containment is in place, the tank can remain out of service for up to 1 year, subject to conditions. Contact Jeffrey Campbell at email@example.com to discuss your situation.
April 2020 Discharge Notification Exemptions
In addition to the recently announced NJDEP deadline extensions relative to the COVID state of emergency, existing regulations provide some relief on notification requirements. One relates to the discharge of non-PCB fluid from a transformer. If the release occurs during a state of emergency, it does not have to be reported to the Department until 24 hours following termination of the state of emergency. In non-emergency situations, NJDEP notification of a non-PCB fluid discharge is not required if the discharge was less than 25 gallons and did not enter waters of the State. In this situation, the remediation must be completed with 24 hours of discovery, and the person responsible must document the incident, and retain documentation for three years from the date of the discharge. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
March 2020 Linear Construction
Roadwork projects are currently proceeding under crisis conditions, making them an important contributor to economic activity while maintaining virus transmission prevention. It is important to ensure environmental planning requirements are met prior to breaking ground. Significant fines for non-compliance apply and NJDEP and NJDOT have not relaxed this aspect of linear construction projects.
Under NJAC 7:26C, “linear construction projects” include work to create, maintain or alter the public or private roadway, railroad or utility lines that cross one or more contaminated properties and will generate more than 200 cubic yards of contaminated soil for fill or disposal. NJDEP approval of the work is not required, however, the construction management firm must hire an LSRP and submit an NJDEP form and fee 45 days prior to work. Pre-construction tasks and soil management options can be developed by the LSRP using the NJDEP Linear Construction Technical Guidance document. Contact Jeffrey Campbell at email@example.com to discuss your project.
February 2020 Discharge Reporting Requirements
NJDEP has issued a Compliance Advisory to remind the regulated community that incidents described below must be reported to NJDEP pursuant to current statutes and regulations. NJDEP issued this reminder amid the current COVID-19 emergency to ensure that complete information is shared to improve coordinated government response to the current emergency. The advisory further emphasizes that DEP may pursue enforcement actions and penalties against any entity that fails to make timely, required notifications. Contact Jeffrey Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation.
January 2020 Tim Forrest promoted!
Peak Environmental LLC has promoted Tim Forrest to Project Scientist! Tim joined Peak as a Staff Scientist in 2018 after graduating from Rider University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a minor in Sustainability. He has successfully completed our technical training program and routinely collects soil, groundwater and vapor samples, and manages data for site characterization and remediation projects. Through this experience he has gained the technical skills necessary to consistently produce and manage data of known quality. He has also effectively participated in our Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) committee and is an active member of our Green Team, which promotes sustainable practices in our operations, community and projects. Tim is the most recent of the eleven entry level Staff Scientists that have earned promotion to Project Scientist, or higher, over the last 5 years under our professional development program. We know Tim will again be successful as a Project Scientist!
January 2020 Michael Stopen promoted!
Peak has promoted Mike Stopen to the title of Project Manager! Mike joined Peak in October 2014 after graduating from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey where he majored in Environmental Science and minored in Geology. As a Staff Scientist, Mike was trained and conducted air monitoring and sampling activities for Peak project teams managing brownfield projects by. In 2016 Mike was promoted to Project Scientist, and his increased responsibilities included coordination of environmental sampling and remediation activities at redevelopment projects, taking the lead role in many sampling teams, and interaction with the NJDEP in support of Peak’s ‘Analyze Immediately’ laboratory certification. Mike has successfully completed Peak’s Management Training Program, and we are proud to announce his promotion to Project Manager! Mike is our third technical staff member to advance from our entry level position, through Project Scientist and now to Project Manager!
December 2019 Material Management
Management of materials generated at construction sites is an important aspect of these projects from cost, schedule and liability perspectives. When excess cut soil and demolition materials will be generated and need to be removed, it is common to send this material to licensed disposal or recycling facilities. However, current solid waste and recycling regulations allow alternatives to these facilities. Therefore, in addition to their typical material management process, project managers and estimators should consider other options for cost effective management of these materials. This may include transport of the material to other construction sites, site remediation project sites or re-development sites. Typically, relatively minor additions or modifications to a material characterization plan are needed to support the evaluation of alternative endpoints. With proper planning and support documentation to ensure compliance with regulations, this can be a very effective and cost saving option that benefits all parties.
As part of their project, redevelopment sites and properties undergoing remediation that need fill material can establish site-specific material characteristic criteria that satisfy NJDEP regulations and guidance. These ‘acceptance plans’ are developed by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) for effective material management while still maintaining their primary obligation to protect human health and the environment at both the donor and receiving sites. The acceptance plans include information and data necessary to evaluate a source of material relative to the physical and chemical specifications needed at the receiving site.
If general information indicates a likely match, a summary package is typically submitted to the receiving site. The submittal includes the history and use of the donor property, the activity that generated the material, chemical sampling results, geotechnical characteristics of the material, and other information potentially affecting the quality of the material. Many receiving sites can accept soil, concrete, brick, other demolition materials, sediment, and other materials that meet their acceptance plan, as long as they meet geotechnical specifications and contaminant limits.
NJDEP fully supports alternate use of these materials with the goal of conserving resources and preserving landfill capacity. NJDEP has issued regulations and technical guidance, specifically the Fill Material Guidance for SRP Sites from their Site Remediation Program, to allow professionals to consistently implement the program in a protective and sustainable manner. SRP will be reinforcing these concepts in their planned Green Remediation guidance document. In addition, the NJ Division of Solid Waste has a long-standing Beneficial Use program supporting and encouraging the re-use of materials, in environmentally sound applications, that would otherwise be waste. As of August 2019, the Division reports it has approved a total of 3.9 million cubic yards of material for alternate uses. Many other states have programs similar to New Jersey’s Alternative Fill and Beneficial Use.
It should be noted that if your project needs fill material, and the planned use of your property allows it, consider identifying alternate materials as fill, including any you generate as part of the project. Acceptance requirements for your site can be developed pursuant to Solid Waste or Site Remediation regulations, as applicable for contaminant levels, and the necessary physical characteristics.
With this regulatory structure in place, evaluation of these alternatives is a legitimate tool in project planning to take advantage of probable cost savings through shorter transport distances and lower disposal costs in compliant ways. Less truck traffic, lower carbon footprint and other benefits support overall use of sustainable practices in the construction and environmental industries. To this end, engaging an LSRP to manage this aspect of your project will better ensure compliance, minimize potential liabilities, and secure cost savings without affecting schedule.
Jeffrey Campbell email@example.com
November 2019 Application Issues for RAP Applications for Groundwater
As promulgated in the NJ Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), the protection of receptors is the highest priority of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRP), and the identification and protection of potential receptors are critical components of remediation at properties where releases of hazardous materials have occurred. SRRA allows the use of a Remedial Action Permit (RAP), under which contaminants can remain on the property, provided features protecting receptors are in place. The RAP is therefore a significant milestone, as it generally indicates the site is fully characterized and, in many cases, costly active remediation steps are complete. The RAP concept acknowledges the technical and logistical difficulties of remediating all the way to regulatory standards. This is especially true regarding groundwater plumes, which are typically a slower remedial process and leaving some contaminants in place to undergo natural degradation processes, known as Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA), is necessary, again with receptors protected.
A groundwater RAP Application must be submitted for NJDEP review and approval, and NJDEP review time is typically slower than that required by regulations. NJDEP clearly recognizes this and track their reviews to identify causes of long turnaround times. In a policy statement issued in November 2019, they identify some common reasons for delay in the RAP review and approval process: delineation of groundwater is often incomplete; and key information/data needed to select MNA as the remedial alternative is often missing. Existing NJDEP guidance documents provide minimum technical requirements needed to comply with RAP regulations, and the policy statement is an awareness campaign to reduce the number of incomplete Applications for the frequent issues.
Groundwater delineation requirements are specified in 7:26E-3.4, with details in the Groundwater Guidance, and generally say that each contaminant present must be horizontally and vertically delineated to its Ground Water Quality Standard (GWQS). To achieve initial compliance for delineation during investigation stages, NJDEP guidance and policy allow fate and transport modeling, rather than actual sampling, to determine both vertical and horizontal extent. However, actual sample data is necessary to demonstrate compliance supporting a groundwater RAP Application. DEP’s internal tracking indicates that it is typical for contaminants not to be fully delineated horizontally in many Applications. For vertical delineation, DEP notes that sampling points for this purpose are frequently not located in accordance with the Guidance.
For groundwater data sets, the MNA Guidance document presents the required number and timing of groundwater monitoring events to make proper remedial decisions. NJDEP asserts that many RAP Applications do not include data meeting the minimum number of sampling events, and many include pre-remediation data which is not typically allowed to determine concentration trends. In addition, many applications do not include an evaluation of data to characterize groundwater plume behavior, which must be stable or shrinking to support selection of MNA as a remedy. DEP also notes that many RAP Applications do not meet the requirement to document that source removal or control has been completed, which is also required to support the selection of the MNA remedy.
In summary, receptor identification and protection are critical regulatory requirements for initial and all subsequent phases of investigation at sites where a release of hazardous materials has occurred. This process typically creates a comprehensive understanding of receptors and demonstrates control of the contaminant pathway to them. While DEP allows mechanisms for some contamination to safely remain, technical regulations still require full delineation based on discrete sample results to justify, in the case of groundwater, MNA as a remedy in a RAP Application. While DEP does not discuss it in their policy statement, site-specific conditions and some level of professional judgement by the LSRP may dictate lesser requirements, especially in historically industrial areas where comingling of plumes or migration onto a site from an upgradient source is common.
Jeffrey Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
On August 23, 2019, Governor Murphy signed amendments to SRRA, which created the NJ Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program in 2009. The adoption affirms the success of the LSRP program and modifies how involved parties participate in the remediation of contaminated sites. In general, the changes modify compliance and financial requirements for responsible parties, update enforcement and oversight practices for NJDEP, change technical, administrative and code of conduct aspects for LSRPs, and expand third party communication requirements. For additional information, please contact Rob Edgar or Jeffrey Campbell.
Congratulations to Justina Anise on her promotion to Project Scientist! Justina joined Peak 2 years ago after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drew University with a double major in Business and Environmental Studies & Sustainability. During her time as a Staff Scientist, she completed technical and regulatory training, and has effectively supported our due diligence, compliance, and remediation services. Her promotion is a signal that she has met Staff Scientist benchmarks and is ready for additional challenges and responsibilities. We are looking forward to seeing Justina soar in her new role as Project Scientist!
The Township of East Brunswick has presented the Green Business Recognition Award to Peak Environmental LLC for its dedication to improving our environment by implementing practices that make their business environmentally responsible. Peak’s Green Team has improved our operations through use of sustainable products, waste reduction programs through recycling and composting, and use of a waterline water dispenser to our office. Peak Environmental is also a paperless office and maintains a work-from-home benefit for employees. In addition to their in-house initiatives, Peak Environmental supports and participates in community events such as beach clean ups, green fairs, and environmental expositions. Mayor Bradley Cohen presented the award to Peak Environmental at the August 12, 2019 Council meeting. Rob Edgar, a Partner in the firm, accepted the award, along with two Senior Project Managers: Kassidy Klink and Bob Barnes. Peak Environmental thanks East Brunswick Township for this award and congratulates our Green Team for earning this recognition.
Rebecca Indeck is our newest Staff Scientist! Rebecca just earned a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Drexel University, adding to her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Lafayette College. Rebecca’s education and work history, including time in Colorado and Reykjavik, her laboratory and field skills, her experience in NCAA Division I swimming, and her CPR/First Aid, lifeguard and OSHA 40-hr certifications will contribute significantly to the Peak team!
NJDEP has revised their PCB remediation policy titled Coordination of NJDEP and USEPA PCB Remediation Policies. The document was posted on the NJDEP Site Remediation Program (SRP) web site in June. The policy supports compliance with both state and federal regulations applicable to the remediation of PCBs. In New Jersey, the person responsible for conducting the remediation and the licensed site remediation professional (LSRP) must comply with the “more stringent requirements and provisions of other Federal, State or local applicable statutes or regulations.” The document generally has 3 parts:
- The policy summarizes DEP technical sampling and remediation requirements for soil. The policy does not suggest there are scenarios under which you don’t have to meet all NJDEP requirements because of varying or conflicting Federal requirements.
- The policy summarizes Federal regulations specified in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which governs PCB remediation waste. covering self-implementing criteria in high and low occupancy areas, performance based disposal, risk-based cleanup/disposal, and hybrid self-implementing/risk-based plans.
- The policy discusses other PCB coordination issues, including concrete, compliance averaging, historic fill, alternative fill, and building materials.
Overall the policy provides a tool for remediating parties to determine whether their administrative and technical investigation and remediation plans successfully coordinate state and federal regulations. Please contact Jeffrey Campbell for support. Coordination of NJDEP and USEPA PCB Remediation Policies.
Peak congratulates Denholtz Properties on the relocation of their corporate headquarters to a new building in Red Bank, and on more than 60 years of real estate development success. Peak Environmental LLC partner Robert M. Edgar, who has worked with Denholtz Associates (now Denholtz Properties) for over 20 years, attended the Red Bank office opening celebration, which included speeches from Denholtz executives, Governor Murphy and Mayor Menna. More information on the new building is on the Denholtz web site.
State and federal regulators have been actively addressing emerging contaminants, and NJDEP is typically participating at a high level, including adoption of Ground Water Quality Standards (GWQS) for two contaminants, PFOA and PFOS, in March 2019. The standard is 0.01 ug/L or 10 parts per trillion. In May NJDEP issued a policy statement to LSRPs regarding the implementation of these standards for existing sites in their Site Remediation Program (SRP). The policy requires evaluation of current and historical operations for potential sources of these contaminants. The policy directs evaluators to the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC) for fact sheets that provide operations and potential sources associated with these contaminants. If no potential sources are identified, then the evaluation can be summarized in next submittal. If potential sources are or were present, then a groundwater investigation (sampling) must be conducted and included in the next submittal with appropriate steps based on the sampling results. Peak recommends completing your emerging contaminant evaluation prior to your next groundwater sampling event. For more information, contact Jeffrey Campbell.
Peak Environmental LLC was proud to sponsor and attend the March of Dimes Real Estate Awards at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus on June 13. The a unique event through which a leading industry in New Jersey supports an important charity. Christopher Johnson of Hollister Construction was recognized for his leadership and support of the organization. March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies by advocating for policies to protect their health, to radically improve the health care they receive, and pioneering research.
Their outreach programs empower families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. You can donate to the March of Dimes by clicking on their logo above.
The 2019 Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop (NSCW) presented by the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE) at NJIT Newark yesterday was a great success. Robert M. Edgar, a Partner at Peak Environmental LLC and Robert Crespi, Esq. of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC moderated a panel discussion on soil and demolition material management within state and federal regulations. The panelists from USEPA, NJDEP, NYCOER, and Clean Earth provided great feedback on their requirements, as well as what’s on the horizon for regulations, policy and guidance. Peak also exhibited at the conference and had some great conversations with attendees. Contact Rob Edgar or Jeffrey Campbell for more information.
Erin Kelly is the latest intern to support Peak technical operations while learning about the environmental industry. Erin just graduated from Virginia Tech University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Geosciences with a minor in Chemistry. Erin is spending her summer at Peak learning sampling and data management. She is also completing a technical paper and presentation on emerging contaminants. After Peak, she will enter graduate school at University of Tennessee Knoxville.
The NJDEP Site Remediation Program (SRP) has updated their home page, reinforcing their Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program established under the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) and its 10th year in effect. The LSRP program manages environmental projects using regulatory and technical tools for the protection of human health and the environment, while maximizing the economic benefits of remediation. The SRP web page update emphasizes statistical data regarding project endpoints, including case closures and Response Action Outcomes (RAO). The numbers are indeed impressive and projects advance much faster than the pre-LSRP regulatory process. The DEP recognizes drastic improvements relative to pre-SRRA regulations and appears to be fully committed to the LSRP program and its future. For more information on managing your environmental issues under the LSRP program, please contact Kassidy Klink.
On May 13, 2019, a bill amending the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) was introduced to the Senate and Assembly after an extensive and ongoing stakeholder process. SRRA governs the remediation of contaminated sites and the Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRP) program. Some of the changes would include:
- A plaintiff, in any action for damages resulting from an alleged act of malpractice or negligence by an LSRP, must provide each defendant with an affidavit of merit.
- The bill also changes requirements for remediation funding sources (RFS), including when and how RFS monies may be used, dispersed and released.
- The bill requires NJDEP to promote the use of sustainable practices during the remediation of a contaminated site.
- The bill would require earlier written notice of remediation activity to local government agencies.
- The bill modifies the definition of an immediate environmental concern (IEC) for vapor intrusion exposure scenarios.
- The bill requires an LSRP who is retained to perform remediation obtains specific knowledge that a discharge has occurred must notify the person responsible for conducting the remediation and the NJDEP. The bill also adds a definition for the term “retained”.
- The bill modifies the definition of the term “remediation”, which is used throughout NJDEP regulations.
Currently the bill is scheduled for a Senate Environment and Energy Committee hearing in early June, with an anticipated vote on June 17th and a hearing in the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on June 10th, with a vote.
Peak Environmental LLC accepted an Environmental Leadership Medal at The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) awards breakfast on April 26, 2019. The award recognizes environmental stewardship of NJ companies committed to sustainable practices as part of operations and community involvement. In 2018, our Green Team participated in community events that promote sustainability and environmental protection, and made changes to our office operations supporting these values. During the year, they participated in Clean Ocean Action’s Beach Clean-Up, exhibited at Woodbridge Earth Day Fair, attended the NJDEP Fish and Wildlife WILD Outdoor Expo, participated in the Greening the Dodge Poetry Festival, and attended the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commission’s Regional Plastics and Networking Meeting. Our sustainable office practices that result from our Green Team initiatives include recycled paper; corn-based plastic cups; compostable and recycled paper cups; 100 percent recycled napkins; recycling cans; recycling plastic K-cups; sensor lights; waterline water dispenser; rechargeable batteries; and a solar-powered storage container; and composting.
We appreciate the recognition from CIANJ and thank our Green Team, several of which attended the awards breakfast (see photo), for their initiative. Other Green Team members include Alicja Trzopek, Curtis Okolovitch, Danny Dzurilla, Lauryn Quinn, Megan Stewart, Sarah Lembo, and Tim Forrest, all of whom are contributing ideas and supporting initiatives to make Peak a sustainable and environmentally responsible company. We look forward to the Green Team’s 2019 accomplishments!
Eric Hoffmann, a Peak Senior Project Manager, is now a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), having met qualifications and testing standards set by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM). The CHMM credential recognizes professionals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge, expertise, and excellence in the management of hazardous materials in the environmental protection, engineering, health sciences, transportation, and public safety and homeland security industries. Contact Eric for effective management of hazardous materials and wastes within the complex frameworks of state and federal regulations applicable to remediation projects and facility operations. Peak congratulates Eric on this great accomplishment!
Brownfields funding opportunities in New Jersey have been supplemented by the Brownfields Loan Program just announced by the NJ Economic Development Authority. The program provides low interest bridge loans up to $5M to current owners and potential purchasers of Brownfield properties to reduce the financial effects of remediation on a redevelopment. The interest rate will be 3%, but could be lower for certain end uses. Application forms are not posted yet, but the EDA has indicated approvals will be competitive and each application will be scored relative to economic feasibility, property information and value, confirmation of the contamination present, compliance with local planning, and support of the local government. The EDA also reminds developers that they have proposed new remediation and revitalization tax credits, which will also support the redevelopment of underutilized or vacant properties in the State. Contact Rob Edgar for more information.
Peak Environmental exhibited at the annual 2019 Redevelopment Forum, presented by New Jersey Future. The event was well attended and was very informative with experienced presenters and speakers, including the Governor. Thanks to all the attendees that stopped by our exhibit to discuss current environmental solutions with Jeffrey Campbell, Robert Edgar and Carrie Berry.
Many environmental projects in New Jersey utilize Remedial Action Permits (RAPs), which allow contaminants at concentrations greater than applicable standards to remain on a property under institutional and, when necessary, engineering controls. The RAP option has been available for several years, and the application process is well tested. Based on this experience, NJDEP, with the help of stakeholders, has reportedly developed completely new RAP Application forms to more clearly capture information regarding property restrictions, receptors, contaminants, engineering controls, financial assurance, and other pertinent information. The new forms are scheduled to be posted in April 2019. It is unknown if the RAP Application process will be migrated to the DEP electronic upload platform. Please contact Jeffrey Campbell for more information.
NJDEP continues to expand enforcement of regulations mandating the remediation of releases from UST systems. One of their enforcement methods is to issue a municipal summons, which looks like a parking ticket, that provides NJDEP contact information and describes the violation as non-compliance with the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA). The summons includes a date to appear at a hearing before a judge in the local municipal court. DEP reports that only about 10% of summons recipients are going to hearings, as the recipients are instead contacting the NJDEP, paying a fine and entering an Administrative Consent Order (ACO) with DEP. The ACO includes a fine and a schedule to complete the environmental work. Once an ACO is executed, DEP withdraws the complaint and the court appearance is no longer required. The ACO allows management of environmental work using a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP), and does not require direct oversight by a DEP Case Manager. Based on these results, DEP considers this method a success and have added three more field staff that can visit sites that are out of compliance in their system and issue a summons. DEP will have their own ticket books soon and apparently won’t have to coordinate with municipalities ahead of time. Contact Jeffrey Campbell for more information.
On a technical note, the NJDEP will be issuing formal policy regarding the rounding of contaminant concentrations reported by laboratories for soil, groundwater and vapor samples. There are a lot of details, but rounding is important because resulting concentration values can affect decisions regarding whether or not additional environmental work is needed. The policy will reportedly be issued in the near future. Contact Kassidy Klink for more information.
Peak Environmental can provide support early in redevelopment projects such that potential environmental issues are identified and potential costs to address them are estimated and captured. Further, our work supports innocent purchaser protections, which addresses potential third party environmental damage or injury claims. The identification of environmental issues and management of that risk makes the project more attractive to developers by supporting an accurate financial plan for the project, including more certainty in environmental costs, as a basis for funding and develop.
The NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) has also recognized the importance of environmental issues in redevelopment deals and offers some significant financial support to municipalities that take title and implement the development within required timeframes. These include grants to conduct a preliminary assessment (PA) of properties acquired by the municipality. The PA identifies hazardous materials storage, use and handling areas on each property and the potential for those hazardous materials to be released from the environment, known as environmental areas of concern (AOC). Grants are also available to collect soil and groundwater samples at each AOC to determine whether there was an actual release. Grant funds typically provide 100% of these costs and a large portion of remedial actions, and the grants can be supplemented through low interest loans when needed. The EDA also offer financial incentives directly to developers willing to conduct the environmental remediation work to put challenged properties back into productive economic use.
The funding mechanism is known as the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund. It is administered by the NJDEP. There is information on their web page, and their summary of grants and loans for public and private entities provides useful information. Funding is acquired through an application process for which a form is also available on the web site. Contact Rob Edgar for more information.
Kassidy Klink, a Peak Senior Project Manager, has published an article titled “The Goal of the RAO” in the March 2019 issue of New Jersey Business magazine, which is published by NJBIA. A Response Action Outcome (RAO) is issued by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) when a completed remedial action is deemed protective of human health and the environment. In this article Kassidy summarizes RAO options based on property use, controls and restrictions implemented, and the extent of the remediation. The RAO alternatives provide additional tools for an LSRP to efficiently manage a project to closure. He has previously published related articles, including “How to Choose the Right LSRP for You and Your Business”, also in New Jersey Business. Please email Kassidy to discuss your environmental project.
Congratulations to Melissa Barnes, a 2017 Peak summer intern, on another scholarship award! Melissa is a 2018 Elmeryl Davies Memorial Scholarship recipient. The scholarship is a benefit of student membership in the New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professional Association (LSRPA). Melissa is majoring in Earth & Environmental Science and Environmental Studies at Susquehanna University. She is a second-time recipient of the scholarship. Her father, Robert (Bob) Barnes (far right), a Peak Senior Project Manager, is shown accepting the 2018 award on her behalf. Peak congratulates the Barnes’ and wishes Melissa a successful career in the environmental industry!
Peak Environmental announces the promotion of Tim Beach to Project Manager! Tim joined Peak in 2014 after graduating from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Business Economics. Since then he has advanced from Staff Scientist to Project Scientist and now Project Manager! He has worked on numerous commercial, industrial and redevelopment projects throughout our service area. His experience gives him the technical skills necessary to efficiently develop, plan and implement soil, groundwater and vapor sampling programs that satisfy regulatory requirements. As a Project Manager, we know that Tim will successfully apply his technical skills and regulatory knowledge to our projects!
Peak Environmental LLC announces the promotion of Megan Stewart to Project Scientist! Megan joined Peak as an entry level Staff Scientist in 2016. She is a Pennsylvania State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resource Management and minors in Sustainability Leadership and Watersheds and Water Resources. At Peak she has successfully gained the technical skills necessary to consistently produce and manage data of known quality. She has effectively participated in project teams conducting site characterization and remediation. Megan has earned her promotion to the next level in our organization, Project Scientist, where we know she will again be successful.
Peak Environmental LLC has promoted Charles Podesta to Project Scientist! Charles joined Peak as a Staff Scientist in 2016. He is a Kean University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Earth Science and Geoscience. At Peak he has successfully gained the technical skills necessary to consistently produce and manage data of known quality. He routinely collects soil, groundwater and vapor samples, maintains remediation systems, and manages data for site characterization and remediation projects. Charles has earned his promotion to Project Scientist, where we know he will again be successful!
NJDEP continues to prepare for additional regulation of emerging contaminants. In January, NJDEP requested public input for draft Interim Specific Ground Water Quality Criteria (ISGWQC) and draft Interim Practical Quantitation Levels (PQLs) for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The DEP is recommending an ISGWQC of 10 ng/L (0.01 µg/L) for both PFOA and PFOS. In late 2017, NJDEP announced proposed Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) in the parts per trillion (ppt) range for PFOA and some other emerging contaminants, added them to the Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) Rules, and initiated statewide testing of public drinking water systems for these contaminants. Sampling of public water supplies is ongoing, and the NJDEP Division of Water Quality is requiring current NJ Discharge Pollution Elimination System (NJPDES) permit holders for waste water treatment discharges to surface water to sample their effluent for PFAs. There is also consistent activity at the Federal level, in numerous other states, and at industry trade groups, such as American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC). Toxicology studies on the prioritized emerging contaminants suggest adverse affects at low concentrations and these compounds are considered very persistent in the environment. They are used in a wide variety of consumer products and industrial applications, such as non-stick coatings, waterproofing coatings, and manufacture of plastics used in common consumer product packaging. Please contact Jeffrey Campbell with your questions regarding potential risk at your facility, planning strategies or compliance.
The NJDEP SRP continues to update and expand their technical guidance library. According to an NJDEP representative, guidance for the investigation of landfills and for perimeter air monitoring at construction sites, both of which are new documents, are in preparation. Modifications the existing soil guidance and underground storage tank guidance documents are also underway. In addition, DEP is advancing an initiative to publish technical guidance documents that address specific sub-chapters of N.J.A.C. 7:26E Technical Requirements for Site Remediation. Expect to hear more on this mid-year 2019.
DEP recently clarified requirements for an apparently frequent issue: subdivision of a tax parcel that is included in a RAP. DEP states that N.J.A.C. 7:26C requires that the existing RAP must be terminated, a new Deed Notices recorded, and a new RAP Application must be submitted for each impacted property to properly manage this situation.
• October 2018: John Anton earns his Doctorate
Peak Environmental LLC is pleased to announce that John Anton has earned his PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from City University of New York (CUNY) after successfully defending his thesis, which used mineral isotopic data from chondritic meteorites to test prevailing theory concerning planet formation. As an environmental professional, he has also successfully used isotopes to assist Clients to identify contaminants, estimate contaminant discharge ages, confirm commingled contaminant plumes in groundwater, and determine sources of contamination. We congratulate Dr. Anton on achieving this degree – a job well done!
Takeaway: John’s skills are a primary component of our forensic services, which are useful for litigation support, assistance with insurance claims, and remedial cost allocation.
• September 2018: Kassidy Klink joins Board of Directors of East Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce
On September 27, 2018, Kassidy Klink, PG, LSRP, a Senior Project Manager at Peak Environmental LLC, was named to the Board of Directors of the East Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce Kassidy was sworn in by the Honorable Mayor Brad Cohen at the annual State of the Chamber meeting held at the Sunny Palace in East Brunswick. The Chamber is actively restoring, energizing, and revitalizing the business community by organizing frequent networking events, charitable activities, and supporting local redevelopment initiatives.
Takeaway: As an experienced environmental professional, Kassidy will support effective decision making by the Township, the Chamber, and Chamber Members regarding environmental matters associated with individual businesses and properties, as well as larger scale redevelopment.
On September 28, 2018, Rob Edgar and Jeff Campbell of Peak Environmental were presenters and panelists, along with Larry Jacobs of Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., at the 19th Annual Mayor’s Breakfast Summit, presented by the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Mayor John E. McCormac. This year’s topic was property redevelopment under New Jersey’s Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program. The economic benefit of returning impaired properties to productive use is well documented, as demonstrated by successes achieved by the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency, led by Caroline Ehrlich. LSRPs are an integral part of redevelopment and can effectively contribute at the planning stage. LSRPs are supported by regulations adopted in 2009 that substantially improve the pace of environmental remediation and ultimately that of redevelopment projects themselves. The Summit was held at Colonia Country Club, with an attendance of more than 200 people from the Woodbridge business community.
Takeaway: The NDJEP LSRP program is a success. Metrics show that projects are being closed by LSRPs at a high rate, and the LSRP program is effectively contributing to economic improvement in New Jersey
We are pleased to announce that Chelsea Lader has returned to Peak Environmental! As a Project Scientist, she is responsible for the implementation of field sampling plans to generate data of known quality, manage the data, and prepare technical documents. Chelsea is also experienced in property inspections, compiling background information, and preparing environmental due diligence reports supporting property transfers. Chelsea holds a B.S. in Geosciences from Penn State University.
Capping as a remedy for addressing VOC exceedances of Impact to Ground Water Soil Screening Levels (IGWSSLs) in soil is now permitted under certain conditions. The capping option is a restricted use remedial action that requires a deed notice and a Remedial Action Permit (RAP) for soil for the long-term maintenance. In all cases, free and residual product must be removed to the extent practicable and the maintenance of a low permeability cap will be required.
Ground water conditions at the site affect decision making regarding capping for VOCs. At sites with contamination in the vadose zone, but not the ground water, soil vapor concentrations must be determined and compared to newly developed Impact to Ground Water Soil Vapor Screening Levels (IGW-SVSLs) to demonstrate that contamination in the vadose zone does not pose a risk to ground water. Sites with existing ground water contamination related to the soil impact can be managed using a Classification Exception Area (CEA) with demonstration of Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA).
The type of contamination also affects capping requirements. When only petroleum-related contaminants are present, separation distances established by other DEP guidance and/or modeling software can determine the need for capping.
Takeaway: VOCs in the unsaturated zone were previously excluded from the capping/eng’g control option because they may still migrate downwards, even in the absence of infiltrating rainwater when a site is capped, via vapor phase diffusion. Adding Capping of Volatile Contaminants for the Impact to Ground Water Pathway to the growing NJDEP guidance library provides another tool for LSRPs to efficiently manage soil contamination that will be left in place, while still protecting human health and the environment.
Peak’s due diligence group is currently supporting numerous transactions by implementing Phase I Environmental Site Assessments and Preliminary Assessments in accordance with state and federal regulations to identify potential environmental issues, establish innocent purchaser protections, comply with regulatory or financing requirements, and support off-Site source investigation. For transactions located in New Jersey including one of our ten LSRPs in each due diligence project team is optional, depending on our client’s position in the transaction. For more information, contact Rob Edgar or Jacque Ulrich.
Takeaway: Driver for environmental site assessments can vary greatly. Discuss your position and objectives with environmental counsel to ensure your interests are protected.
On June 18, NJDEP posted their FY19 fee schedule, effective July 1. In summary, Annual Remediation Fees remained the same as FY18, ranging from approximately $900 to $20,000 depending on the number of contaminated areas of concern and the media contaminated. For Remedial Action Permits (RAP), fees for application, modification, transfer and termination have all increased, now ranging from $800 to $3,000 depending on the type and complexity of the RAP. The annual fee to maintain approved soil and groundwater RAPs in FY19 has increased to $400. Reminder that all RAPs must be certified every two years, and there is currently no NJDEP fee required for that submission. Contact NAME for more information, or details are at http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/fees/
Takeaway: NJDEP ARF amounts have not changed for FY19. RAP fees increased by 25%. No fee is required for biennial certification submittals.
Peak attended the most recent Site Remediation Advisory Group (SRAG) meeting held at NJDEP in Trenton on June 13, 2018. SRAG is a consortium of NJDEP staff and trade industry representatives that meet quarterly to exchange information and discuss issues related to the NJDEP regulations. At the June 13 meeting, administrative topics such as the current licensing schedule, planned changes to guidance documents, status of pending bills and regulations, tracking of progress through the regulatory steps, possible changes to DataMiner, and electronic certification requirements were discussed. On the technical side, the beneficial use determination (BUD) process and its requirements were summarized, and attainment methods for the Soil Remediation Standards (SRS) were reviewed. For additional information, contact Jeff Campbell.
Takeaway: Typical discussions regarding DEP regulations, guidance and policy, the interpretation of which can affect the regulatory endpoint of a project, are ongoing. Contact Peak to ensure your planned endpoint is appropriate and considers current DEP requirements.
Carrie Berry has joined Peak Environmental as an Associate of the firm! Ms. Berry has been working in the Environmental Industry since 2000 and is a New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP). She has extensive experience as a corporate practice leader and client program manager, with responsibility for financial and regulatory management of client property portfolios at which releases of hazardous materials have occurred. This has given her extensive experience with the regulatory and technical requirements of multiple states, including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Peak also welcomes Phil Barnes as a Senior Project Manager! Mr. Barnes is a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) and a Professional Geologist who has worked in the environmental consulting field since 1989. Mr. Barnes has managed and implemented a wide range of projects under various federal and state programs including site and remedial investigations, remedial actions, due diligence, brownfields redevelopment, water supply development, and remedial cost allocation. Mr. Barnes has extensive experience in the management of technically complex projects for clients in the chemical, pharmaceutical, metals, plastics and glass industries
Peak is pleased to announce that Jennifer Reckhow has accepted a permanent position and is now officially a Peak employee! She will continue in her Receptionist role as the face of Peak to all visitors and callers to our office, reporting to Office Manager Lauryn Quinn. Thanks Jen for joining our team!
Tim Forrest is starting his career in the environmental industry with Peak Environmental as a Staff Scientist. Tim graduated from Rider University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a minor in Sustainability. As a Staff Scientist, Tim has entered our technical and safety training programs to learn the required field skills to safely produce data of known quality, and effectively support our remediation services through collection and management of soil, groundwater and vapor samples. Email Tim.
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: 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.