Change is constant, especially in the environment. New Jersey’s environmental remediation program has been successful, in part, because it has continued to change and evolve as science has expanded our knowledge and understanding.
What do I mean by successful? Consider this: More cleanups are now completed than the number of cases that existed in 2012 when the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act was fully implemented. In 2012, there were about 14,000 active environmental cases. If trends continue, Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) may file the 20,000th final remediation document in 2022, indicating how a project was completed.
But our work hasn’t gone away. Now, nearly a decade later, there are still about 14,000 active environmental cases. Why? More remediation sites are identified every year. The latest science identifies emerging contaminants needing remediation, and new cleanup goals.
In the last year alone, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has set new cleanup goals based on the better understanding of chemicals’ behaviors and the ways people can become exposed, such as breathing vapors, drinking water, or touching contaminated materials.
How we protect public health and the environment continues to improve with our understanding of how the remnants of our industrial past continue to impact our world today. New Jersey’s commitment to remediation will continue and our LSRPs work every day to adapt and succeed as the science evolves and regulations change.
Adaptation includes managing the ongoing impacts of climate change to our environment. Scientists tell us how changing temperatures may lead to more intense storms and rising seas. This, in turn, will impact environmental conditions and the ways LSRPs clean up sites, such as:
Adjusting our responses to emergent environmental issues.
Making future remediation projects more resilient to withstand storms and flood waters.
Responding to environmental disasters directly caused by climate events.
Implementing green remediation practices that can slow the causes of climate change.
On the following pages, LSRPs and other remediation professionals will share their knowledge about future expectations and how to address them.
Who are LSRPs? They are accomplished engineers, geologists and scientists who oversee remediation and guide Persons Responsible for Conducting Remediation through the state’s complex rules and guidance for environmental cleanups.
The Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association (LSRPA) is built on the expertise of our members – those people whose experience and comprehensive knowledge of regulations and technology make environmental remediation possible. Now in our second decade, we are focusing more on the future and change.
The LSRPA is proud to represent these highly educated, conscientious and hard-working professionals – both the LSRPs who guide us today and the aspiring professionals who will guide our future.
David Morris is a vice president for Environmental Services at the international firm of Tectonic Engineering Consultants, Geologists & Land Surveyors DPC, Inc. He has more than 30 years of experience between London (UK) and the New York metropolitan area.
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