But My Condo Association Didn’t Remediate the Property in the First Place! How Can We Have Environmental Obligations to the NJDEP?

July 27th, 2019 | Community Association Law Blog

By Mary Wynn Seiter, Esq.

Susan is the property manager for a condo association in Edgewater, and she just got off the phone with someone from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The association needs to spend $10,000 to have all its environmental documentation updated – even though the original developer did everything that was required at the time of original construction. Does her association really have to do this? YES, it does… and your association may need to do so, too – even without being contacted by the NJDEP!

Across all of New Jersey, hundreds of community associations’ properties were the subject of some kind of environmental clean-up efforts so that their developers could get approvals to build residential complexes. Whether your community is along the Hudson River, where historic fill soil contamination is rampant, or is on the site of a former industrial operation, where soil and groundwater measures were put in place to protect residents, your association may have a duty to update its administrative filings with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – and a failure to do so can result in hefty fines, potentially retroactively to 2012!

If your community was remediated prior to 2008, and your site has any kind of ongoing monitoring or inspection obligation under the terms of the developer’s agreement with the NJDEP, the updated site remediation laws require that your association upgrade its administrative paperwork to include a current-level Deed Notice, a Remedial Action Permit, and other requirements – even though these requirements were not even in place at the time your site was initially remediated, and even though the NJDEP has already said that the work originally done to remediate the site, and the documentation of that work, met the NJDEP’s requirements at the time.

Connect with our law firm to learn how best to assess and manage your community association’s site remediation obligations. We can help protect your association to ensure that you are not only following the law, but continue to look out for the best interests of the association and your residents.