COVID ALERT: Site Remediation Allowed Under New Jersey’s New Construction Restrictions

As highlighted in Dilworth Paxson’s April 9, 2020, Construction Alert, New Jersey Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 122 requires in relevant part, that all “non-essential” construction projects cease. As a follow-up to that Order, and after receiving numerous inquiries from regulated entities and other stakeholders, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has recently addressed whether remediation activities must stop under EO 122.

Section 2 of EO 122 defines “essential construction projects” to include “…(l) Any project that is ordered or contracted for by Federal, State, county, or municipal government, or any project that must be completed to meet a deadline established by the Federal government; (m) “Any work on a non-essential construction project that is required to … remediate a site …”. Based on these two paragraphs, NJDEP has advised that construction related to site remediation projects are allowed to continue under EO 122. However, all remedial activities must be conducted in accordance with the social distancing directives set forth in both EO 107 and EO 122. 

DEP has also acknowledged that essential on-site staffing determinations will differ for each circumstance and that every organization must consider arrangements that further social distancing requirements. This may include staggering on-site construction activities or determining which construction must be accomplished immediately and which can be postponed to a later date.

For Further Information on the above guidance, contact Jennifer L. Cordes.