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How NJDEP's 2017 Revised Cleanup Standards Have Made Cleanup Easier

Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2018 by Susan C. Gieser , Steven R. Gray

On September 18, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) updated the Soil Remediation Standards (“SRS”) for 19 contaminants when it published a Notice of Administrative Change in the New Jersey Register.  Thereafter on October 6, 2017, NJDEP published a change to include corrected standards for 1,1,1-trichloroethane and hexachloroethane.

NJDEP soil remediation standards were affected as follows:

  • The SRS for eleven (11) contaminants increased;
  • The SRS for six (6) contaminants decreased;
  • The SRS for one (1) contaminant remained unchanged, and;
  • One (1) contaminant no longer is regulated.

An increase in the SRS indicates that the regulation now permits higher levels of the contaminant. Conversely, a decrease in the SRS makes the regulation of that contaminant more stringent.

As set forth in the table below, the SRS, which are now less stringent, include solvents tetrachloroethene (PCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) and several polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) commonly found in historic fill, like benzo(a)pyrene (BAP).  The SRS, which are now more stringent, includes the solvent trichloroethene (TCE). 

 

 

Contaminant

Previous Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standard (mg/kg)

Updated Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standard (mg/kg)

Previous Non- Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standard (mg/kg)

Updated Non- Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standard (mg/kg)

Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standards Increasing

Benzo(a)Anthracene

0.6

5

2

17

Benzo(a) Pyrene

0.2 *

0.5

0.2

2

Benzo(b)Fluoranthene

0.6

5

2

17

Benzo(k)Fluoranthene

6

45

23

170

Chrysene

62

450

230

1,700

Dibenz(ah)Anthracene

0.2 *

0.5

0.2

2

Indeno(123-cd)Pyrene

0.6

5

2

17

Carbon Tetrachloride

0.6

2

2

4

Methylene Chloride

34

46

97

230

Tetrachloroethene

2

43

5

1,500

1,1,1-Trichloroethane

290

160,000*****

**

**

Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standard Not Changing ***

1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane

1

1

3

3

Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standards Decreasing - No Order of Magnitude Change

Hexachloroethane

35

12

140

48

Nitrobenzene

31

5

****

****

Pentachlorophenol

3

0.9

10

3

Trichloroethene

7

3

20

10

Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standards Decreasing - Order of Magnitude Change

1,1-Biphenyl

3,100

61

34,000

240

Cyanide

1,600

47

23,000

680

Nitrobenzene

****

****

340

14

Contaminant No Longer Regulated

Thallium

5

Not Regulated

79

Not Regulated

1,1,1-Trichloroethane

**

**

4,200

Not Regulated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The updated standards could affect the scope of remediation projects at a variety of historic fill and dry cleaning sites in New Jersey.  BAP, a commonly found contaminant at sites in New Jersey also is often identified in “clean fill” above the former 0.2 mg/kg threshold.  The increase of BAP from 0.2 mg/kg to 0.5 mg/kg in residential settings, and 0.2 mg/kg to 2 mg/kg at non-residential sites, should aid responsible parties in finding additional facilities that can provide clean fill for capping purposes. The less stringent BAP SRS should also reduce the number of historic fill sites that require a Deed Notice and/or Engineering Controls.

The updated standards also may affect remediation of dry cleaning sites. Owners of PCE contaminated properties may be able to eliminate the need for a Deed Notice and/or Engineering Controls, as the residential soil standard increased from 2 mg/kg to 43 mg/kg, and the non-residential standard increased from 5 mg/kg to 1,500 mg/kg.  However, default impact to groundwater values for PCE – which were not changed by the regulatory revision - often can be a driver of remediation at these sites.

As a direct result of the update to NJDEP’s Soil Remediation Standards, it may be possible to modify or eliminate a Deed Notice attached to your property. Removal of a Deed Notice removes the need for biennial certifications and associated costs as well as a Remedial Action Permit and its associated costs.  In addition, Deed Notice restrictions no longer encumber your property.

If you are interested in learning how your site may be affected, please feel free to contact our Sue Gieser (201-319-5750) or Steve Gray (201-330-7459).