How the LSRPA Works with the NJDEP
Monday, March 16, 2020 12:26 PM

The LSRPA and the NJDEP may not always agree, but our working relationship helps resolve issues both large and small. As an example, here is a timeline of how both parties achieved a workable resolution to the issue of rounding data.

December 5, 2019 - DEP issued a notice saying rounding of data could not be a compliance option with remediation standards. Without an official policy or current rules and laws addressing rounding, the DEP planned to reconvene the Technical Guidance for the Attainment of Remediation Standards and Site-Specific Criteria stakeholder committee to address the issue. Until the notice was issued, rounding of data was an accepted practice for site remediation compliance.

December 11, 2019 – The notice was discussed at the Site Remediation Advisory Group meeting. The LSRPA supported reconvening the technical guidance committee. However, we remained concerned that LSRPs cannot round data until guidance is developed and a policy is adopted. The LSRPA noted that LSRPs may use any available and appropriate guidance when the DEP has no specific requirements under SRRA and the Licensing Board Rules. We asked that the DEP notice be modified to remove the prohibition of rounding. In the absence of technical standards or guidance, LSRPs should apply relevant guidance from the federal Environmental Protection Agency or other states and other relevant practices that ensure the protection of public health and safety and of the environment.

January 27, 2020 - Representatives of DEP and LSRPA discussed the use of sound science and the availability of policies and procedures that have been written by other state and federal agencies on the use of significant figures and rounding. As a follow-up, LSRPA provided examples of state and federal policies and procedures regarding the use of significant figures and rounding. DEP considered the information.

February 18, 2020 – DEP issued an amended notice that allows LSRPs to use independent professional judgment to determine if rounding of analytical data is appropriate. The amended notice did not allow rounding of data associated with Immediate Environmental Concern and Vapor Concern cases. Although it carves out these two exemptions, LSRPA supports the amendment. In the meantime, the attainment technical guidance stakeholder committee began meeting in early February and could develop further revisions on rounding.

Your LSRPA will keep you informed.