LSRP Professional Judgment: Trust, Cooperation and Documentation

IN AN EFFORT TO decrease the time taken to remediate contaminated sites due to redevelopment pressure, a desire to decrease public health and environmental risks or both, the New Jersey legislature created the LSRP program to increase the private-sector role in the investigation and remediation of sites where releases of hazardous materials have occurred.

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This increased private role has created greater opportunity for the use by engineers and scientists of individual professional judgment in making sound and defensible technical decisions. The level of trust and cooperation between the LSRP and the NJDEP influences the degree to which professional judgment is exercised in New Jersey. Sound technical data, robust documentation and a well-understood conceptual site model are essential in the use of professional judgment.

Factors that are significant when exercising professional judgment include New Jersey and federal regulatory frameworks; the body of technical data that are at the LSRP’s disposal; the level of experience of the LSRP and the technical team; external pressures that influence the use of sound professional judgment; and New Jersey’s involvement in supporting the program and insuring its efficacy. External influences must be carefully managed for independent professional judgment to withstand scrutiny and be technically defensible.