There was not an empty seat at the Pines Manor, in Edison, this morning, as state Department of Environmental Protection and environmental experts spoke to more than 200 New Jersey business leaders about the changes being made to the site remediation program.
In May, the DEP will hand over all site remediation cases to an independent group of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals. Roughly 4,600 cases of the more than 15,000 polluted sites being supervised are in the hands of temporarily licensed professionals currently.
Tracy Straka, chair of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey’s Environmental Business Council, said putting on the symposium today was a way to reach the people in regulated community who will have to deal with the new regulations.
“They may not be the people who go to the DEP website and check what’s happening daily because they’re running their own business,” Straka said. “This is the shortened and simple version of all the technical documents the DEP has put out to support compliance with this new program.”
The day-long program included 14 speakers on topics such as the status of the new LSRP licensing exam, implementation of the new program, the future of training for the site remediation program and specific looks at the documents being furnished by the DEP.
Tessie Fields, who has spent 30 years with the DEP and is part of the remediation division, opened the event by updating the crowd on the business comments made to the 600-plus page regulations, issued in summer 2011.
Fields said while no amendments were made based upon comments received, as the rule-making process continues, there will be opportunities for modification.
“The site remediation program, as people have known it and grown up with it, has been reformed and totally changed. It’s learning a whole new set of rules, regulations, what you can do,” Straka said.
Straka said it’s much easier to fit all of the information in one day for business owners, and as the DEP issues more guidance documents, the CIANJ will have more presentations to go over each new regulation.