[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Elk 11-20-2007 by Ord. No. O-2007-17. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is:
To assess past and present land use practices, site operations and conditions;
To identify the potential presence of hazardous substances, soil and/or groundwater contamination and/or pesticides at the site which may pose hazards to human health or public safety, jeopardize or degrade the environmental quality of the property and Township, and/or impact the property value; and
To limit liability claims exemptions from "innocent landowners" following acquisition.
The objective of the ESA is to evaluate potential environmental hazards or liabilities associated with a property which may adversely impact the proposed use and/or safe occupancy of a particular property(ies), neighboring properties, or the public welfare in general.
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, performed by an environmental professional licensed in New Jersey, along with a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report, shall be required for submission to the Township with the land development application for any site plan or major subdivision, and for any property to be dedicated/donated to the Township.
The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report shall be prepared in strict accordance with the ASTM Standard E 1527-05, or the most current edition thereof.
In accordance with the ASTM standard and the local customary practice, all requirements for the ASTM Standard E 1527-05, or the most current edition thereof, must be contained within the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report. This report shall be submitted in the following format and must, at a minimum, include the following items:
Introduction. This section of the report should address the purpose of the investigation, when and by whom the work was authorized, the scope of services for the project, a brief summary of the report and the date the work was performed.
Site assessment information.
Documentation of all interviews conducted, including name, title, date, time and contact information for the property owner/key site manager; and official from the County Health Department, and official from the local Fire Department and any neighbors interviewed.
An evaluation of the health and environmental risks of the site, including but not limited to any potential contaminants that exist and remain in and around the site.
Likely pathways that the contaminants may move.
Potential risks to the environment and human health that exist along the migration pathways.
Due diligence information.
A summary of a review of all open public records with respect to the site, including records available under the Open Public Records Act.
A summary of a review of the file located at the local/County Health Department.
A site sketch/survey plan, including locations of all known environmental conditions, unless these items are clearly depicted on the site survey of the development application.
Historical pesticide information. In accordance with NJDEP Guidance Document "Findings and Recommendations for the Remediation of Historic Pesticide Contamination, Final report March 1999," and due to the agriculture nature of the Township, historic herbicide and pesticide investigations are required for all sites where current use is agricultural or historical records show prior agricultural use of the property. For all sites in which soil is found to not comply with or meet NJDEP standards, a letter of no further action is required to be submitted to the Township.
Insurance coverage. The firm or individual conducting the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment shall carry at a minimum $1,000,000 in professional liability insurance and $1,000,000 in pollution liability insurance coverage. This insurance policy must include the Township of Elk and its consultants designated as additional insured entities. A valid, current certificate of this coverage shall be included along with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report.
The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report shall include a statement as follows: "(Name of the environmental professional) has performed this Environmental Assessment with due diligence. It is complete and accurate within its scope. To the best of our knowledge, no recognized environmental condition associated with the subject property has been misrepresented or omitted from this report."
The above statement should be signed by the principal of the environmental professional who performed the assessment.
Indemnification. The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report shall also include the following statement: "The Applicant hereby indemnifies the Township of Elk, its affiliates and appointed consultants against any liability, loss, expense, lien, claim, demand, and cause of action of every kind including fines or penalties, attorneys' fees, and other costs that result from activities associated with the findings of this Environmental Site Assessment."
Waiver. All requests for waiver of requirement of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment must be forwarded to the Planning and Zoning Board and the Environmental Commission for their recommendations. The request for waiver shall include justifications for relieving the requirements. The Planning and Zoning Board shall take the recommendation of the Environmental Commission into consideration in granting any waiver requests. The application shall be considered incomplete unless and until the recommendations of the Environmental Commission have been forwarded to the reviewing board.
Conclusions and recommendations. This section should summarize the findings of the investigation and make all appropriate recommendations for further investigation or corrective action at the site, including the anticipated costs of all necessary curative actions. Any recommendation for no curative action must be supported by the investigative findings.
Upon review of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report by the Planning and Zoning Board, the Environmental Commission, and their consultants, as the case may be, and upon the recommendation of said consultants and Environmental Commission, the Planning and Zoning Board, in its discretion, may require additional studies, tests or environmental treatments and remedies as may be determined to be reasonably required or necessary to confirm the applicant's report and conclusions or for the environmental remediation, safety and security of the site. These may include but are not limited to Phase II environmental investigations, cleanups or other remedies. Such additional review and/or tests shall be paid for by the applicant. If the Planning and Zoning Board undertakes such additional reviews and/or tests, such shall be chargeable in accordance with the escrow agreement entered into with the Township or the Planning and Zoning Board.
If deemed necessary, the Township may retain the services of an environmental consultant/expert to review data submitted by an applicant, with such services being paid for by the applicant via the application's escrow account.