On DEP’s website today is a notice that it no longer will issue letters of non-applicability. DEP’s notice can be found here. These letters of non-applicability are staples of the transactional word. A buyer of business or property normally requires that the Seller of the business or property a letter of non-applicability before the transaction can be completed. What the Seller does is to submit an application to DEP for a determination that the previous activities on the property do not trigger an obligation under the Industrial Site Remediation Act to perform a cleanup of the property or for additional testing to be performed. This letter of non-applicability provides a certain level of comfort if not protection to a buyer that the property he is buying is clean.
According DEP’s testimony during a joint hearing with Senate Environment Committee and Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee. Irene Kropp, assistant commissioner for site remediation program, testified that a majority of the program’s work load is involving dealing with transactional requests. And that this is part of the problem with getting to the real clean ups in the State.
While this will alleviate some of DEP’s workload, and may or may not violate statutes, it definitely cause serious issues with the business world.