PennJersey is pleased to announce that we were approved as a Category 2 Small Business Enterprise (SBE) by the State of NJ Department of the Treasury, Division of Revenue & Enterprise Services, in January 2018. PennJersey looks forward to participating in expanded public contracting opportunities in New Jersey.
PennJersey is also pre-qualified by the NJ Department of Treasury Division of Property Management and Construction (DPMC) and the New Jersey Schools Development Authority for Environmental Consulting, geology and Underground Storage Tanks. PennJersey also is licensed by the NJ Department of Health as an Indoor Environmental Consultant to conduct Indoor Environmental Health Assessments of Child Care Centers and Educational Facilities in New Jersey.
About the NJ Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program
The State of New Jersey Small Business Set-Aside Program was established with the goal of awarding 25 percent of state contracting and purchase order dollars to small businesses. By registering a small business with the New Jersey Small Business Set-Aside Program, through the Division of Revenue & Enterprise Services, an approved SBE company becomes a member of a limited group of vendors eligible to participate in these selected contract offerings.
At PennJersey, we provide personalized, specialized consulting services to suit your environmental site assessment and remediation needs. We’re here to advocate on your behalf; whether you are in industry, commercial, development, or municipalities, we’ve got you covered in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and beyond.
When it comes to the labyrinth of myriad environmental regulatory and technical issues that complicate your business, PennJersey has the experience and cost-effective services to simplify your problems. We’re field, assessment and remediation experts with well over a combined 150 years’ experience (and that’s just senior staff) working in environmental services. We bring a unique mix of passion for science and project management expertise that culminates in premium, expert environmental consulting.
With four Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) and a full staff and wide network of subconsultants and contractors for servicing New Jersey, PennJersey is your full-service choice for comprehensive environmental consulting solutions that show results.
Recently, a NJ Education Association (NJEA) / Work Environment Council (WEC) flier reported that phenyl mercuric acetate (PMA) may have been used in synthetic rubber-like flooring. From the 1960s to the mid-1990s, schools, colleges/universities, athletic facilities, prisons and other facilities throughout the country installed indoor gymnasiums, field houses, outdoor running tracks and similar rooms and facilities. When mixing the polyurethane formulation to form the rubberized floor surface, PMA, was used t
o facilitate the liquid’s spreading and leveling. According to the 3M Corporation, their Tartan® brand flooring product (along with 8 other brands) may contain 0.1% to 0.2% mercury (1,000-2,000 mg/kg). Based on the available literature and our own experience, metallic mercury vapors have been reported at elevated levels in these facilities.
While this emergent issue has been evaluated by a handful of other states, the State of New Jersey and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) have no formal regulations or guidance promulgated to address the potential for mercury in flooring. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Agency for Toxic Substances (ATSDR), working with state health departments, appears to be the lead agencies involved in evaluating the issue. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is aware of the issue and may be issuing guidance shortly.
Exposure to mercury can primarily effects the neurological system, including the brain, as well as the kidneys or a developing fetus. Children and pregnant women are at greatest risk from mercury exposure, but occupational exposure is well known. We all remember the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. The initial neurological effects may result in hand tremors, an increase in memory disturbance, and evidence of autonomic dysfunction. Mercury is not known to cause cancer.
In order to evaluate suspect facilities, it is recommended that bulk sampling of the rubberized play surfaces be conducted to determine the potential presence of PMA at actionable levels (i.e., above 1 mg/kg). If actionable mercury concentrations are identified in the bulk sampling, further remedial actions or conducting further indoor air sampling is warranted. If total mercury is less than 1 mg/kg, it can be assumed that the flooring was not manufactured using a mercury-containing compound such as PMA.
Where floor bulk-sampling results are in excess of 1 mg/kg total mercury, performance of an indoor air (IA) investigation is recommended to assess the potential for mercury to be present as a vapor hazard in these areas. The ATSDR recommends that if a floor emits mercury vapor greater than 0.8 µg/m3, or if laboratory analysis detects mercury at a concentration of 20 mg/kg or greater, the best permanent solution is to remove the floor and replace it with a floor that does not contain mercury. The ATSDR recommends a 3 µg/m3 clearance concentration for the air in schools. NJDOH regulations allow for calculation of a site-specific action level. The evaluation of mercury migration throughout the facility should also be considered. While not required, the state health department should be utilized as a resource and provided with a copy of the results.
Additionally, sampling of the surface(s) and materials below the rubberized flooring is recommended to determine if there have been sub-flooring impacts by the mercury. This is typically accomplished by advancing core samples through the floor of each affected area and sampling of the top layer of concrete sub-flooring under the rubberized surfaces to evaluate the potential for vertical downward migration of mercury.
Depending on site-specific conditions, disposal should be considered, but active ventilation could also be a short-term option. Prior to removal and disposal of any impacted floor material, sampling and analysis for USEPA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act waste characteristics including the Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Procedure methodology is recommended, and a comprehensive removal specification, which includes comprehensive air monitoring for the protection of the workers and building inhabitants during the replacement of the flooring, is recommended.
ATSDR, Action Levels for Elemental Mercury Spills, March 22, 2012.
NJEA/WEC, HSN Alert: Mercury Hazard to Staff and Students from Rubber-Like Floors in Schools, February 2017.
ODOH/ATSDR, Mercury in Flooring Presentation, presented at the Building Environment Council of Ohio (BECO) Fall Conference October 21, 2010.
USEPA, Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS): Elemental Mercury, June 1, 1995.
William P. Call, P.G., LSRP
Mr. Call holds a geology degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has provided environmental services since 1987. Mr. Call is a Professional Geologist (PA & AR) as well as a Licensed Site Remediation Professional and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Licensed Site Remediation Professional Association, where he also serves on the Risk Management and Loss Prevention Committee and co-chairs the Continuing Education Committee. Mr. Call has developed and implemented numerous projects involving investigations of various hazardous waste facilities and related site remediation projects. These projects have included State, County, municipal and commercial properties impacted by various operations. Past project experience includes various environmental investigations; remediation of major New Jersey educational, road expansion, and Brownfields projects; sites impaired by leaking underground storage tanks; Industrial Site Remediation Act investigations; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act site closures; and extensive hydrogeological investigations. When he is not cleaning up New Jersey one site at a time, he dedicates his free time to taking care of his young daughter, a new home and getting in some crossbow archery. As a new homeowner in town, Mr. Call is also joining the Middletown Township Environmental Commission.
• NJ Licensed Site Remediation Professional 573657
• NJ UST Subsurface Evaluator 0010212
• NJ Soil Borer 0023686
• PA Professional Geologist PG003036G
• AR Professional Geologist 1672
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—July 10, 2017. Milford, NJ
The team at PennJersey is proud to announce the hiring of Mr. James D. Snook, P.G., LSRP as a Vice President. Prior to joining PennJersey, Mr. Snook was employed by Mott MacDonald in Iselin, NJ. Mr. Snook has almost 20 years of experience as an environmental consultant in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mr. Snook holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Susquehanna University. He also holds a M.S. in Hydrogeology from Clemson University.
“I am excited to join PennJersey’s diverse and qualified team that includes some of the most experienced, knowledgeable and innovative LSRPs in New Jersey. I hope to add to PennJersey’s depth with my own LSRP experience, plus strengthen PennJersey’s range with my own professional experience.” Rodger Ferguson, President of PennJersey added that “James adds tremendous depth to our expertise for our clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We are truly excited about bring him on board.”
In eastern Pennsylvania, Mr. Snook has experience with navigating projects through Pennsylvania Act 2 procedures and milestone reports for almost 20 years in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia areas. Over the last few years, he has been assisting municipal clients on site remediation of soil and ground water, for which he also coordinated client meetings with PADEP Act 2 officials which led to significant cost savings for these complex projects. Mr. Snook also has experience in the technical evaluation of Act 2 milestone reports related to a Brownfield Assessment Grant for Phase I and II projects in the Lehigh Valley. He has experience with various remedial techniques for the petroleum industry and underground storage tank (UST) projects. For one project, executed within an expedited timeframe, he supervised and completed the on-site field investigations and subsequent reporting for remedial investigations on numerous gasoline stations considered for purchase by a large petroleum client. Mr. Snook has been involved in the evaluation of Marcellus Shale natural gas resources, co-authoring a detailed report and visual presentation regarding the geologic evaluation, exploratory natural gas evaluation, water resources evaluation, and economic evaluation for the owner of approximately 10,000 acres in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Snook has been a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) in New Jersey since 2011. He has been retained by various clients as the project’s LSRP for their industrial, commercial, municipal, education, linear construction, recreation, and non-profit redevelopment project sites that he supervised and managed simultaneously. Mr. Snook’s experience spans all remedial phases from Phase I and Preliminary Assessments through remedial action and biennial certifications. He has provided various Response Action Outcomes since 2012 for regulated project sites which range from UST closures to multi-million remediation projects. He has held several technical consultation meetings with NJDEP that have led to removal of a responsible party status or significant cost savings to clients. He also received an administrative closure from NJDEP without the submittal of a milestone report, which led to significant cost savings and the removal of multiple enforcement penalties for a client.
Mr. Snook is the Secretary, an Executive Board Member, and a Pennsylvania Regional Council Member for the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE). He has been an active BCONE member since its early beginnings in June 2011, focusing on event planning, outreach promoting membership and sponsorship, plus coordination with Brownfields experts in the PADEP, NJDEP, and USEPA. He has been actively involved in planning numerous successful BCONE workshops, bus tours, and networking events in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He provides public presentations at various events and public workshops including the National Brownfields Conference, Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference, the Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop Conference, New Jersey inter-agency workgroups, and various BCONE workshops. Mr. Snook will be a speaker at the annual USEPA National Brownfields Conference in Pittsburgh this December.
Mr. Snook has acted as project manager of USEPA Brownfield activities and prepared award-winning Brownfield grant proposals for USEPA, NJDEP’s HDSRF, and other grant opportunities for municipalities. Mr. Snook has successfully navigated clients through environmental regulations in multiple states, and has achieved environmental compliance through milestone reports for remedial projects under several regulatory programs.
- NJ Licensed Site Remediation Professional #586414
- TN Professional Geologist #00005588
- Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE)
- Secretary, Executive Board Member, PA Regional Council Member
- Licensed Site Remediation Professional Association (LSRPA)
- Risk Management and Liability Protection Committee
- Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists (PCPG)
Some organizations continue to believe a persistent myth that a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) is required to report all discharges to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Environmental Action Line. Although much has been written to debunk it, the myth persists.
As a result of the reporting myth, the use of LSRPs or their firms for due diligence, even though the LSRP meets the Environmental Professional definition in accordance with the USEPA All Appropriate Inquiry Rule, is often precluded in the governing contract.by the seller or by the facility operator. This is also extended to other on-site environmental consulting tasks because of the same misconception. Not using the most qualified environmental professionals in these instances is short-sighted decision making that often results in delays, duplication of effort and significant added costs to all parties.
In actuality, the blanket reporting requirement of any quantity of a “known or suspected” discharge of a hazardous material falls to all owners and operators under the 1976 New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act and NJDEP regulations. In addition, licensed contractors and subsurface evaluators are required to report discharges associated with underground storage tanks (USTs) under the 1986 Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act and associated NJDEP UST regulations. These reporting requirements were not changed by the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) that created the LSRP program. Rather, SRRA differentiated the LSRP’s reporting obligations, and made an important exemption.
- An LSRP may observe a discharge during due diligence for a prospective purchaser, but is not required to report it to NJDEP. This exemption was made by the legislature in acknowledgement that LSRPs should be able to perform due diligence to provide the buyer with the documentation necessary to establish the innocent purchaser defense through completion of a Preliminary Assessment (PA) and, if indicated by the PA, a Site Investigation. This exemption has been upheld by the Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board (SRPLB) in dismissing a complaint against an LSRP that a discharge was not reported during due diligence.
- SRRA requires that the LSRP report discharges not previously known to NJDEP “…at sites for which he[/she] is responsible.” The term “LSRP of record,” as it has come to be used, was not in existence when SRRA was written and the concept of being responsible for the site or being “of record” was not defined in the statute. Being responsible for the site may be reasonably interpreted to mean that the LSRP has been retained to perform the investigation or remediation (together “remediation” as defined by NJDEP) of an Area of Concern (AOC) or the entire site, depending on the situation. The SRPLB did not clarify the legislative intent further when promulgating their regulations governing LSRPs. However, NJDEP has recently stated that an LSRP retained for a specific AOC is not required to report a discharge on another part of the property. Thus, an LSRP or firm that has been engaged to perform non-remediation related services such as geotechnical engineering, air permitting, or site planning would not be required to report a discharge discovered during the performance of these services unless also retained to perform the remediation.
- SRRA also requires that an LSRP report all Immediate Environmental Concerns (IECs) not previously known to NJDEP, regardless of whether the LSRP is responsible for the site or a related AOC. However, without the benefit of reliable laboratory data and known discharge, IECs are not readily discernable and are, therefore, highly unlikely to be encountered during due diligence or other non-remediation related site work.
In our practice, we often have been prevented from involvement in pre-purchase due diligence, or from even being on-site during sample collection, or even walk-through inspections prior to purchase, because of the seller’s unnecessary reliance on the discharge reporting myth. A seller’s reluctance to the disclosure of remedial needs concerning a property is understandable. Such revelations can adversely affect the real or perceived salability of the site or the possible sale price. Regardless, contracts can be prepared to acknowledge the LSRP’s role on behalf of the purchaser, i.e., that a suspected discharge does not need to be reported to NJDEP or even to the property owner, without exposing the seller to additional risk.
In cases where another firm has performed the due diligence, the LSRP’s subsequent review has often identified additional AOCs or determined that some AOCs were not investigated or remediated consistent with NJDEP’s regulations and guidance, resulting in additional delineation and remediation efforts, time and costs. In many cases, the length of a due diligence period does not allow for complete records collection and/or historic usage review. Such matters are addressed in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment as “data gaps;” however, the LSRP’s responsibility for the site does not allow for data gaps and filling in those gaps can result in the identification of additional AOCs. If such AOCs existed but were not identified or investigated prior to the purchase of the property, they may become the responsibility of the purchaser due to the failure to conduct a full PA/SI and perfect the innocent purchaser defense. In that case, these additional investigation and remediation costs are unlikely to be recoverable after the fact.
A more sophisticated understanding of SRRA can allow the buyer and seller to dispel the reporting myth, develop a purchase contract that provides for proper due diligence and allow the experts of site remediation, the LSRPs, to function as intended by the legislature on behalf of the buyer. All of this will reduce the unnecessary duplication of effort, added time, and extra expense that is now commonplace. Further, performing other environmental services does not automatically trigger the discharge reporting obligation if the LSRP has not been retained to perform investigation or remediation of contamination at a site. There is no reason to preclude the LSRP as an environmental professional to perform due diligence.
– Rodger A. Ferguson, Jr., LSRP
PennJersey President Rodger Ferguson is an active member of the LSRPA Steering, Risk Management and Loss Prevention, and Regulatory Outreach Committees, and currently serves as the Treasurer of the organization and on its Board of Trustees. Mr. Ferguson is a key participant in NJDEP stakeholder groups established for the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, Remediation Standards, and guidance documents, including the committees established to evaluate alternative and clean fill material protocols (as stakeholder co-chair) as well as the quality assurance and analytical laboratory methodologies required for the investigation of contaminated sites. Mr. Ferguson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry from Ursinus College in 1983 and has 30+ years’ experience in the environmental field. When Mr. Ferguson isn’t at the helm steering PennJersey, he enjoys spending time with his family, rescuing old houses, coaching lacrosse, and suffering with Philadelphia’s professional sports’ teams.
• Licensed Site Remediation Professional 573794
• UST Closure and Subsurface Evaluator 455706
Rags to Remediation is a content series written by PennJersey founder Richard J. Katz, LSRP, who brings forty-seven years of professional environmental services experience, outlining the rich history of PennJersey Environmental Consulting’s influence in the creation of environmental remediation services as they have come to be known today.
So, when we last left off, I was doing the weather on New Jersey Public Television when a scout from the ABC network affiliate in Austin, Texas 0 KVUE-TV – saw me. The scout called to set up an interview and I decided to take a chance. Lo and behold, I was offered the job and moved to sunny Austin, Texas as the meteorologist and science reporter for a major network. Although it was short-lived, being a weatherman was a pretty cool job. However, no matter how interesting, the notoriety never sat particularly well with me. After a year of being a local celebrity it was time to move on again.
The wonderful thing about having your relative youth is the ability to move when and where you please. I took a job offer from a meteorological consulting company in Chicago called MesoMet. My duties there included client support for airports, golf courses, and general businesses, with daily forecasts on specific meteorological effects influencing their activities. I also assisted at WLS-TV, another ABC affiliate- giving local weather presentations. This accounts for the next year of my professional life.
Then it was back to the NJDEP for the next seven years. I returned to New Jersey, working in the Program for Environmental Cancer and Toxic Substances; later renamed the Office of Cancer and Toxic Substances Research, which now exists as the Division of Science and Research. During this stint at the DEP, I was tasked with the oversight of department-supported investigations into volatile organics and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in the atmosphere throughout NJ (fancy, I know). Upon the creation of the Division of Hazard Management, I was brought into the program as Assistant to the Director, supporting remediation activities throughout the department.
In 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund) was created and I had the “honor” of being appointed Chairman of the Superfund Applications Task Force. This task force put 85 NJ sites on the initial National Priorities List for cleanup using federal funds including Chemical Control, which exploded on Earth Day of 1980. The “cowboys” of Hazard Management had just finished cleaning out a bunch of picric acid drums from the attic when the site blew up. Picric acid (properly known as di-nitrotoluene) is the little brother to TNT. While, obviously, not what we would call a great thing, the explosion could have been much worse had we not gotten there prior. For a fun fact, we took a lot of grief over the disappearance of 22 respirators that night but got most of them back from the reporters we’d handed them out to when Duane Marine blew up two months later.
Some other notables: I helped develop the original Hazardous Sites Master List (compilation of all sites known to the department that involved the presence of hazardous materials) that has evolved into the Known Contaminated Sites List. After this the DEP morphed my role, due to my legendary people skills (cough, cough) and need for the spice of life that is variety, into a type of departmental startup specialist. I went from burgeoning department to burgeoning department, setting in place necessary guidelines and plans for functionality. As the department’s startup guy, I also worked in the Bureau of Engineering Review and Permitting, which would lead to my next semi-great adventure into the field of environmental remediation.
– Richard J. Katz, LSRP
Mr. Katz has a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Rutgers University and over 40 years of experience in the environmental field, acquired in the governmental, consulting and private sectors. Before that, however, he was an Air Force Officer, professional carpenter, and yes, even a weatherman in Austin, Texas. His accomplishments in the environmental field, however, outreach those by hundreds of miles. Under Mr. Katz, PennJersey was a charter member of the LSP Coalition that participated in crafting the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA). Mr. Katz was in the first group to be certified as a Licensed Site Remediation Professional and served on the Executive Committee of the LSRP Association Board of Trustees as the Board Secretary. Mr. Katz is now semi-retired, but is available to consult on matters as needed.