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Showing 4 posts in ISRA.

New Jersey’s Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act (the “Brownfield Act”) provides that a “person” who owns contaminated property may be entitled to a Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund Innocent Party Grant (“innocent party grant”) to pay for remediation of the property so long as that person meets two requirements: (i) the person acquired the property prior to December 31, 1983 and continued to hold it until the innocent party grant is approved, and (ii) the person did not contribute to the contamination at the property.  N.J.S.A. 58:10B-6(a)(4).

In a decision issued last week, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, held that Cedar Knolls 2006, LLC (“Cedar Knolls”) was eligible for an innocent party grant for the remediation of its property even though Cedar Knolls was not technically the same “person” that acquired the property before the statutory deadline. (Cedar Knolls 2006, LLC v. NJDEP, Dkt. No. A-1405-15T3 (N.J. Super. Ct. Sept. 20, 2017)).  In doing so, the Superior Court explained that, with respect to owners eligible for innocent party grants, the Brownfield Act was more concerned with the “substance of ownership and continuity than the technicalities of the legal form.” Read More »

In July, 2001, the New Jersey Superior Court decided the case of White Oak Funding, Inc. v. Winning, 341 N.J. Super. 294 (App.Div.), cert. denied. 170 N.J. 209 (2001), holding that an owner of contaminated property purchased before September 14, 1993, was not liable for historic contamination that the owner did not contribute to.  Only a week later, amendments to New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Act (“ISRA”) became effective.  Among other things, those amendments provided that owners who acquired property prior to September 14, 1993 would not be liable for clean-up costs if “at the time of acquisition, [the purchaser undertook] all appropriate inquiry on the previous ownership and uses of the property based upon generally accepted good and customary standards.”  N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11g(d)(5).  So, did this amendment abrogate the holding in White Oak?   A decade later, on October 29, 2012, the New Jersey Superior Court has said that it did. Read More »

New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Action of 1993 (“ISRA”) requires owners and operators of industrial facilities to perform site assessment and remediation activities whenever a triggering event, such as a cessation of operations or sale of property, occurs. ISRA exempts, however, owners or operators who generate or use minimal amounts of hazardous substances from compliance with its requirements, known as a “De Minimis Quantity Exemption” or “DQE.” Pursuant to recently promulgated regulations, in addition to demonstrating the total quantity of hazardous substances handled at the facility are below specified regulatory thresholds, NJDEP requires all applicants for a DQE to certify that the applicant has no knowledge of contamination on the property above any remediation standard, regardless of the source, as a pre-condition to approval of a DQE. Read More »

Last month I blogged about Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (10-1062), the case involving pre-enforcement judicial review of compliance orders under the Clean Water Act that will be argued before the United States Supreme Court this term. Read More »