In the murky waters of determining liability under the New Jersey Spill Act, New Jersey courts are finding one thing clear - buyers who do not perform adequate pre-acquisition due diligence will not qualify as “innocent purchasers” and, thus, will be responsible for remediating contamination that pre-existed their ownership.
In a recent case, ACP Partnership v. Garwood Borough (Tax Court March 22, 2016), a New Jersey Tax court found that although property was “in use” for tax valuation purposes, the town was required to consider contamination at the property when assessing taxes.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey will soon decide whether private parties who have not incurred any remedial costs may use the Environmental Rights Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:35A-1 et seq., to compel responsible entities to perform environmental cleanups under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. (the “Spill Act”).
The EPA has recently proposed adding a subsurface intrusion component to its evaluation of contaminated sites for inclusion on the National Priorities List (“NPL”).
A question recently arose regarding whether Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (“LSRPs”) and certified Subsurface Evaluators (“SSEs”) need to obtain an A-901 license to manage solid and hazardous waste in connection with their remediation projects.
Under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”), NJDEP may remediate hazardous substances and then file a lien on the property of a person responsible for the discharge of the hazardous substance in order to recover its remediation costs.