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New requirements affect the use of Fill in Site Development

In an October 2021 guidance document, which included LSRPA participation in the stakeholder process, the NJDEP provided LSRPs and their clients with more options for the sustainable reuse of “alternative backfill” in redevelopment. and the cleanup of brownfields and other remediation sites.

However, there is a significant catch. Current NJDEP policy requires NJDEP’s prior approval for the use of alternate fill above existing site grade. This has the potential to require large amounts of “clean fill” to raise site levels to climate-resilient elevations where alternative fill could otherwise be safely used.

The growing need for backfill has prompted some companies to supply fill that is falsely identified as clean fill. IIn response, the New Jersey Legislature changed the A-901 license requirements for companies providing filler to require more stringent background checks.

The 2019 amendment, called the Dirty Dirt Act, places companies that engage in soil and fill recycling services (including brokerage, transportation and processing) under a similar regulatory regime and expands the definition of a broker.

Implementing regulations have not yet been promulgated. However, some key deadlines have already passed. Companies engaged in soil and fill recycling services were required to file a notice by October 14, 2021 or cease engaging in newly regulated activities by January 13, 2022. Companies that filed a timely notice must submit a complete A-901 application by April 15, 2022. .

With key deadlines already past, all fill producers and users need to pay attention to the source of the fill material and the sometimes competing regulatory initiatives controlling the fill world.

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