Based on a 2010 law, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was supposed to create a ranking system to determine the order in which hazardous sites would be cleaned up. Now, more than five years later, the DEP has yet to complete a ranking system for approximately 10,000 hazardous waste sites, according to a recently released audit.
The DEP has accepted the auditor’s recommendation to create a ranking system, but did not specify when the ranking would be complete.
NJ Spotlight has more information:
The state is more than five years overdue in developing a ranking system to determine health risks posed by about 10,000 contaminated hazardous waste sites, according to an audit released yesterday.
In an otherwise generally favorable review of its site remediation program, the Office of the State Auditor found that the Department of Environmental Protection failed to comply with a directive in a 2010 state law requiring it to rank thousands of waste sites and come up with a priority list for cleaning them up.
Given the huge number of waste sites that remain to be cleaned up, the questions of when and in what order has long been debated among environmentalists, residents, and local officials.