Originally published in the June 4, 2012 edition of New Jersey Law Journal.
In an effort to expedite the remediation of more than 20,000 contaminated sites, New Jersey passed the Site Remediation and Reform Act (SRRA) on May 7, 2009. SRRA transferred the responsibility of overseeing most cleanups in the state from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to licensed private environmental consultants called Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs). LSRPs now perform the environmental cleanups and have the authority to stand in NJDEP’s shoes and sign off on the cases they oversee. Among many other changes, SRRA enhanced the affirmative obligation of responsible parties to timely remediate contaminated sites.
The LSRP program became fully effective on May 7, at which time all existing NJDEP matters should have been transitioned into the new program. Although that critical date has now passed, SRRA will influence nearly every real estate transaction going forward. Real estate attorneys must be aware of SRRA’s implications on their practice and on their clients’ obligations with respect to their properties.
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