Curren Environmental Blog

Why are ISRA Letters of Non-Applicability still Requested?

Posted by David C Sulock on Sep 17, 2015 8:58:03 AM

The NJDEP discontinued ISRA Letters of Non-Applicability under the Industrial Site Recovery Act in April of 2008, but these letters are still requested.  Why?   Re

The Department’s Site Remediation Program discontinued the issuance of applicability determinations pursuant to ISRA on April 30, 2008.  Any application that was submitted after April 30, 2008, would no longer receive a letter of non-applicability or "LNA's" which is what they were sometimes called regarding the NJDEP’s Industrial Site Recovery Act ("ISRA"). ISRA is the New Jersey law that requires, certain applicable companies to go through a rather exhaustive clearance process for site contamination as a condition to a property sale, transfer or cessation of operations of an industrial establishment (which was historically determined by the facility's SIC code and was subsequently switched to the firms or NAICS code) that handles hazardous substances.

These letters were very valuable as a site that was subject to ISRA, can be engulfed in a lengthy environmental review process that could derail real estate transactions. The concern of being drawn into the ISRA process (The NJDEP never undertook an awareness campaign to notify regulated business that would need to go through ISRA.) created a knee jerk reaction that a letter of non-applicability should be obtained to settle any concerns that ISRA was relevant. For many years, NJDEP had issued LNA's as a service to the New Jersey regulated community so that parties knew that the business operations were not subject to ISRA.

A requirement to secure an ISRA LNA has often been a condition of a purchase agreement or a loan commitment and is frequently a standard HISTORICAL term in leases. As LNAs have long since been discontinued, often times contract language has not been updated and parties still request these letters.

Although NJDEP ISRA Letters of Non Applicability were discontinued in 2008, the outreach campaign to inform realtors, business owner, lending institutions and lawyers was nonexistent. Curren Environmental gets call monthly from parties wanting to obtain this discontinued NJDEP service.  If you want to stop dealing with outdated information and have ISRA questions, please feel free to contact David Sulock 856-858-9509, extension 151 or by email at davidsulock@currenenvironmental.com.