On February 1, 2021, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued a Notice of Rule Waiver/Modification/Suspension (“Notice”) extending certain remediation timeframes as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These include cases where the remedial action was to be completed by May 7, 2021, and other timeframes that were or will be reached while Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 103 (“EO 103”) declaring a state of emergency due to the pandemic remains in effect. Conspicuously absent from the Notice was an extension for soil-only cases, which oversight was rectified by NJDEP last week.
For “soil-only” sites subject to N.J.A.C. 7:26E-5.8(b)1.i, in order to extend the February 6, 2021 mandatory remedial action timeframe to February 6, 2022, the persons responsible for conducting the remediation must submit a mandatory timeframe extension request by May 1, 2021.
On February 18, 2021, NJDEP issued a Site Remediation and Waste Management Program listserv notification concerning a subset of statutory remedial investigation cases not included in the Notice. Specifically, this notification targeted “soil-only” cases subject to the statutory requirement to complete the remedial investigation by May 7, 2014 (and that did not obtain the statutory extension to complete the remedial investigation by May 7, 2016), with a February 6, 2019 regulatory timeframe and a February 6, 2021 mandatory timeframe to complete the remedial action [see N.J.A.C. 7:26E-5.8(b)1.i].
Per NJDEP, persons responsible for conducting the remediation of a “soil-only” case may submit, via retained licensed site remediation professional, a mandatory timeframe extension request to NJDEP by May 1, 2021, using the Remedial Timeframe Notification form, and the Department will approve a one-year extension of the February 6, 2021 mandatory timeframe to February 6, 2022.