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Gov. Phil Murphy signed bill (A-4255/S-2870) into law on Tuesday, which delays implementation of the so called “dirty dirt” law enacted in 2020 until regulatory applicability issues can be resolved.

The original legislation, which was supported by NJBIA, intended to reduce the practice of improperly classifying contaminated soil and debris as recyclable materials or clean fill.

However, guidance for that bill issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection thereafter significantly expanded the extent of the dirty dirt law to include entities like landscapers, pool contractors, developers, consultants, engineers and others far outside the dirt trucking industry.

“Basically, under the DEP’s guidance, people who would merely touch the process of transporting dirt would be subject to needing an A-901 permit,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Ray Cantor.

“And that A-901 process is costly, it’s intrusive, it’s slow and there really aren’t even the resources at the state Attorney General’s office to even go through the thousands of potential applications. So, we are appreciative of the sponsors and to the governor for allowing more time for industry, the DEP and legislators to fix some of these issues.”

In March, the DEP extended the deadline for businesses applying for a soil and fill recycling permit license from Oct. 14, 2021 to July 14, 2022.

“Now that the extension is in statute, these tertiary businesses will not be forced to apply for A-901 licenses until the DEP and industry work out their issues and let the stakeholder process play out,” Cantor said.