Help Me Help You: NJDEP Explains Common Deficiencies That Delay Issuance Of Ground Water Remedial Action Permits

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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently issued a summary of several groundwater guidance documents in an effort to address deficiencies that delay the issuance of Ground Water Remedial Action Permits. These permits are required in New Jersey whenever groundwater contamination above cleanup standards remains at a site as part of a remedial action.

The NJDEP summary specifically targets permit applications that are deficient due to: (1) incomplete vertical delineation of ground water contamination, or (2) missing information necessary to support a monitored natural attenuation remedy. In its summary, NJDEP affirms that a Ground Water Remedial Action Permit and Response Action Outcome cannot be issued until vertical delineation of ground water contamination is complete, with sampling points located in or immediately downgradient of any contaminant source area and with “clean zone” sampling results in hand. For monitored natural attenuation remedies, NJDEP notes that it reviews permit applications with an eye toward whether the number and timing of ground water sampling events is sufficient and whether sampling results demonstrate a shrinking or stable ground water contaminant plume.

NJDEP points to its “Ground Water Technical Guidance for Site Investigation, Remedial Investigation, and Remedial Action Performance Monitoring, ” “Monitored Natural Attenuation Technical Guidance,” and June 2014 “Interpretation of Completing a Remedial Investigation at a Contaminated Site,” for assistance in avoiding Ground Water Remedial Action Permit application deficiencies. NJDEP also reminds Licensed Site Remediation Professionals that technical and scientific justification with multiple lines of evidence is required when deviating from guidance and NJDEP regulations.

The NJDEP “Summary of Existing Guidance Regarding Ground Water Remedial Action Permit Applications” can be found at:

The NJDEP guidance documents referenced above can be found at:

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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