The Person in the Room
Wednesday, May 17, 2023 09:51 AM
As the song goes, Janice Brogle was in the room where it happened.

While the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection struggled with its future and the future of site remediation, Janice Brogle was side-by-side with then Assistant Commissioner Irene Kropp.

“I was her executive assistant. We were a team. I was all things Site Remediation Reform Act,” said Brogle.

From those internal meetings eventually came the myriad of changes to New Jersey’s site remediation program and the beginning of the LSRP program. Now, years later, Brogle is in a different room where things are still happening.

As Executive Director of the Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association, Brogle will represent its members, oversee LSRP continuing education and assist the LSRPA as it responds to changes in technology and policy in the Contaminated Site Remediation and Redevelopment Program. She replaces Sue Boyle, who until her retirement, was the only executive director the LSRPA ever had.

Brogle’s priority will be to build trust between the LSPRs and the NJDEP, which has suffered in recent years.

“I have been working closely with Janice since she started as Executive Director on March 20th,” said LSRPA President Bill Call. “Janice is very detail and process oriented. As the Association matures, we need her drive, enthusiasm and skills to help guide us for years to come. I am very excited to be working with Janice and we are fortunate to have her on board.”

After nearly 40 years as an environmental engineer and with the NJDEP, this is not where she saw her next step.

“I thought I would be retiring and getting a job at the local farm stand and I swore I would never work with any organization where I would set foot in the DEP again,” Brogle said. “But I was contacted by the LSRPA and it’s a program I really believe in.”

“I challenge that there is any other license that means as much,” Brogle said about the LSRPs. “I want to see this program be the benchmark.”

Fresh, local vegetables will have to wait.

When site remediation reform was still an idea, Brogle remembers long hours and intense opposition. Every environmental group testified against the changes to create LSRPs, she said, often citing the “fox guarding the hen house” critique.

Sen. Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, also was skeptical but eventually became the sponsor of the bill creating the changes. Working with Kropp on the Site Remediation Reform Act, Brogle said she realized: “Change is tough. Some people are just not going to change, so you bypass them. You bring together the team of people who aren’t afraid of changing.”

Since then, Brogle’s NJDEP career took her away from the LSRP program. Before recently retiring, Brogle was the NJDEP Director of the Division of Water Quality, where she oversaw the 200 men and women implementing the state’s pollutant discharge elimination system and the Water Bank infrastructure funding program.

When at home in the Sourland Mountains of Hopewell, Brogle is tackling a one-woman fight against invasive species on her property and replacing them with native flowers. A pesky, mile-a-minute vine, persicaria perfoliate, has been troublesome. “It’s why I’m usually scratched up,” she said.

You can often find Brogle and her husband biking and on hiking trails, or kayaking on the Delaware River. “I love being on the Delaware in the early morning. You see the eagles,” she said.

With the LSRPA, Brogle is deep into discussions about the delays in NJDEP permitting. “There definitely appears to be some confusion on the staff level to clearly delineate what the LSRPs do and what is the Department’s role,” she said.

But she is optimistic that NJDEP agrees permitting is a problem that must be addressed. “We can come up with a better product in the permitting process,” Brogle said. “I think we’ll get there. I really do.”