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New Jersey DEP outsourcing cleanup of toxic sites

January 11, 2010
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TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has decided to change the way it addresses the cleanup of polluted sites by outsourcing the work to licensed environmental consultants, according to The Press of Atlantic City.

According to the story, the DEP hopes this method, modeled after the system currently in place in Massachusetts will be more efficient in tackling the thousands of polluted sites than the current system, in which 200 case managers oversee each cleanup individually.

A 1998 audit of the Massachusetts system found that consultants were able to clean up 14 times as many contaminated sites, the story stated.

State Senator Jeff Van Drew said: "There were literally thousands of sites remediated in Massachusetts. Quite frankly, the DEP does not have the staff to do it — nor do I want the state to hire more people. We don’t need to be expanding government. Once the system starts moving, there will be a tremendous number of sites fixed."

So far, 245 consultants have been approved through the very extensive licensing process, and small or medium toxic sites will see the most benefit from this new system, the story added.

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