NJDEP Vapor Intrusion Regulatory Changes: A Breath of Fresh Air

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On January 16, 2013, NJDEP released an update to its Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance and updated its Vapor Intrusion Screening Levels. Screening levels are notably less stringent for a number of compounds, which have many of our clients sighing in relief.  For example, for tetrachloroethene (“PCE” or “PERC”) the groundwater screening level has been raised from 1 ppb to 31 ppb.  Separate Rapid Action Levels (RALs) also have been established for both residential and non-residential property use, avoiding the previous requirement that the more stringent residential health-based scenarios be applied to non-residential properties, such as industrial facilities.

However, the revision does not bring entirely favorable news. Although screening levels have decreased for a handful of compounds, a large number of additional compounds have been assigned Rapid Action Levels, which require quick responses if detected. Sites subject to a Classification Exception Area (CEA) are required to conduct an order of magnitude analysis as part of the next biennial certification process to determine whether action must be taken under the new screening levels, and to implement any additional remediation, if necessary. Finally, sites with Remedial Action Workplans for ground water issued prior to January 16, 2013 will require an order of magnitude analysis to the new screening levels and implement additional remediation, if necessary. NJDEP is requiring all ongoing cases to complete a full evaluation on how these changes may affect the property by April 13, 2013.

NJDEP's updated Vapor Intrusion Guidance and Screening Levels can be viewed at NJDEP’s web site.     

Because action is required for many ongoing (and in some cases completed) remediation projects, EWMA encourages you contact your Project Manager to review the implications of these changes.  If you do not currently have a project manager, please contact Alan Arico (800) 969-3159 x173 (Alan.Arico@ewma.com) or Al Moffit, LSRP at x144 (Al.Moffit@ewma.com) to discuss how these changes may affect your property.

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