Remedial Investigation Deadline To Be Extended?

December 4, 2013 | No Comments
Posted by Steven M. Dalton

The Site Remediation Reform Act requires persons responsible for conducting remediation to complete remedial investigation of the entire contaminated site by May 7, 2014.  Responsible parties who fail to meet the deadline are subject to direct Department oversight and enforcement.  Negative consequences of direct oversight include among other things Department selection of the remedial action, delays due to Department review of all documents submitted by an LSRP, mandatory establishment of a remediation trust fund for the estimated costs of remediation, Department pre-approval of disbursements from the fund, and the implementation of a public participation plan for public comment concerning the remediation.  The Department carried out a comprehensive compliance notification process, and has indicated that it will aggressively enforce the deadline.

Legislative relief may be on the way for responsible parties who are engaged in but may not complete remedial investigation activities by the May 2014 deadline.  Senate bill (S3075) and identical Assembly bill (A4543) would allow for extension of the remedial investigation deadline under certain circumstances for up to two years.  The bill as introduced requires the submission of an extension application to the Department by March 7, 2014, and provides for a 45-day decision window by the Department.  Applicants would need to explain the inability to complete the remedial investigation by the statutory deadline.  Where justifiable reasons exist the Department may grant an extension upon a finding of good cause.  The legislative process should be closely monitored as the ability to obtain an extension of the remedial investigation completion deadline would provide a measure of relief for responsible parties who have made a good faith effort to perform remediation but who are unable to meet the May 2014 statutory deadline.

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