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Community Relations Site Remediation Basics Glossary


Site Remediation Program Acronym Glossary

Quick Reference Acronym List: Adobe Acrobat [pdf]

This glossary is designed to provide a general description of site remediation terms. Please see the Training and Resource Disclaimer at





ACO - Administrative Consent Order

ANSI - American National Standards Institute

AO - Administrative Order:  A formal enforcement action issued by the DEP to the person responsible for conducting a remediation whenever that person fails to comply with any law, previous order, agreement, permit, or guidance. The AO describes the provision of which that person is in violation, describes the action or omission that caused the violation, requires compliance, and gives notice to that person of a right to an administrative hearing to contest the administrative order.

AO/NOCAPA - Administrative Order/Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment: A formal enforcement action issued by the DEP to the person responsible for conducting a remediation that includes a determination that a violation has occurred, an order to take specific actions to correct the violation, and a demand for payment of a specified penalty amount. Parties receiving an AO/NOCAPA have 20 calendar days to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. If a hearing request is not received within 20 days, or is denied for another reason, the AO/NOCAPA becomes a final order.

AOC - Area of Concern: An area at a site where contamination is identified or suspected.

ARARs - Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements: Federal and state environmental laws and regulations that apply to a site cleanup under CERCLA.

ARRCS - Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:26C: The administrative procedures and requirements for the remediation of a contaminated site. (ARRCS Rules)

ARS - Alternative remediation standard: A soil cleanup standard that is established using site specific factors and follows the specified procedures described in the Remediation Standards Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:26D-7).

AST: Above ground storage tank

ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials




BCSRA: Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act: Passed in 1998, it defined how brownfield sites are to be remediated for reuse at the time.  The BCSRA was amended by the Site Remediation Reform Act in 2009.

BDA - Brownfields Development Area:  An approach whereby DEP works with selected communities affected by multiple contaminated sites (brownfields) to design and implement remediation and reuse plans for these properties simultaneously. The BDA approach enables remediation and reuse to occur in a coordinated fashion.




CAFRA - Coastal Area Facility Review Act

CEA – Classification Exception Area: A designation established whenever ground water standards in a particular area are not met. It ensures the use of the ground water in that area is restricted until standards are achieved.

CERCLA - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund):  The federal act passed in 1980 and modified in 1986 by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA). The acts created a special tax that goes into a trust fund, commonly known as Superfund, to investigate and clean up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Under the Superfund program, USEPA may pay for site cleanup when responsible parties cannot be located or are unwilling or unable to perform the work. USEPA may also take legal action to force the responsible parties to clean up the site or reimburse the government for cleanup costs.

CID – Case Inventory Document: A concise summary of all areas of concern (AOCs) and remedial activities that serve to form the basis for remedial decisions and must be included with some remediation reports that are submitted to the Department.

CKE - Currently Known Extent: The area where pollutant concentrations in ground water exceed an applicable standard such as the Department’s Ground Water Quality Standards, N.J.A.C. 7:26D-2.

CLP - Contract Laboratory Program

CNS - Covenant Not to Sue: An agreement by the State of New Jersey that a site has been cleaned to state standards and they will not sue for any further cleanup (unless subsequent activities on the property cause additional contamination).

COC - Contaminants of Concern: The contaminants that are believed to be present at a specific site. Identifying COCs saves money, as it costs more to test for all possible contaminants than to test for a narrow range of contaminants.

COLWASA - Composite Liquid Waste Sampler

CSM - Conceptual Site Model

CWA - Clean Water Act




DCGL - Derived Concentration Guideline Level

DD - Decision Document: A document issued at the conclusion of the Remedial Investigation/Remedial Action Selection (RI/RAS) phase that describes the selection of a Remedial Action for non-Superfund sites. It is similar to the Record of Decision issued after a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) Superfund sites.

DER - Deed Notice/Restriction: A notification added to the title of a property when contamination will remain above NJDEP’s residential/unrestricted soil remediation standards, N.J.A.C. 7:26D. A Deed Notice requires a property owner’s concurrence and specifies the location and concentration of all contaminants and how they must be controlled, maintained or monitored. Every two years, the party responsible for conducting the remediation must certify the remedy continues to be protective.

DNAPL - Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid

DO - Dissolved Oxygen

DOT - Department of transportation

DQO - Data Quality Objectives

DRI - Direct Reading Instruments




EC - Engineering Control: Any physical mechanism used to contain or stabilize contamination or ensure the effectiveness of a remedial action. Some examples of engineering controls include caps, leachate control systems, signs, fences, slurry walls and ground water pumping systems.

ECD - Electron Capture Detector

EDD - Electronic Data Deliverable

EDI - Electronic Data Interchange

EDSA - Environmental Data Submittal Application

EMC - Elevated Measurement Comparison

EPA – Environmental Protection Agency: The Federal Agency whose mission is “to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment -- air, water and land -- upon which life depends”. (EPA Web site)

ERP - Emergency Response Plan




FID - Flame Ionization Detector

FRD – Final Remediation Document:  means a no further action letter or a response action outcome (see definition of NFA and RAO for more information).

FS - Feasibility Study: The process of evaluating remedial alternatives for a Superfund site from technical, environmental and cost perspectives, among other factors. It identifies the most cost-effective remedy that adequately protects human health and the environment and features a conceptual design, cost estimates and a preliminary implementation schedule.

FSPM - Field Sampling Procedures Manual




GC - Gas Chromatograph

GC/MS - Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer

GIN – General Information Notice: A form that must be submitted to the Department when an ISRA subject owner or operator plans to close operations or transfer ownership or operations of an industrial establishment.

GIS - Geographic Information System

GPS - Global Positioning System

GW - Ground Water: Subsurface water that fills pores between materials such as sand, soil or gravel.

GWQS - Ground Water Quality Standards

GWQS - Ground Water Remediation (formerly Quality) Standards: Standards that specify quality criteria and designated uses for ground water for the purposes of remediation of contaminated sites.




HASP - Health and Safety Plan

HDPE - High Density Polyethylene

HDSRF - Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund: A state program that provides grants and low-interest loans to municipalities, counties and businesses for costs associated with remediating contaminated sites. (HDSRF page)

HEPA - High Efficiency Particulate Air

HSA - Hollow Stem Auger, or for radiological surveys Historical Site Assessment




IAWG - Interagency Working Group: A group of federal agencies organized by USEPA to provide advice to USEPA Brownfield pilot communities on various federal programs.

IC - Institutional Control: A mechanism that limits human activities at or near a contaminated site, or ensures the effectiveness of a remedial action over time, when contaminants remain at levels above the remediation standards that would allow unrestricted use of the property. They include, but are not limited to, ground water Classification Exception Areas, and deed notices.

IEC - Immediate Environmental Concern: A condition at a contaminated site where people are exposed to contamination at levels that exceed applicable screening levels or standards.

IGW - Impact to ground water remediation standard: A soil cleanup standard that is applied in soil above the ground water table that is designed to be protective of ground water quality

IRM - Interim Remedial Measure: An action taken to stabilize a site until final cleanup measures can be implemented. An IRM can entail excavation of contaminated soil, installation of a temporary cap, installation of a soil vapor extraction system to treat soil contaminated with volatile organic compounds, or a variety of other measures.

ISRA - Industrial Site Recovery Act: formerly known as ECRA, the state Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act of 1983. It requires owner/operators to address environmental contamination that may be on-site prior to the transfer, sale or closure of subject industrial properties.

ITRC - Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council




LBGR - Lower Bound of the Gray Region

LDPE - Low Density Polyethylene

LLDPE - Linear Low Density Polyethylene

LEL - Lower Explosive Limit

LFPS - Low Flow Purge and Sample

LNAPL - Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid

LOP - Level of Protection

LSRP – Licensed Site Remediation Professional: Individuals that are licensed by the Department and are qualified to conduct the remediation of contaminated sites in New Jersey without prior NJDEP approval. (SRRA / LSRP page)

LTRA - Long-Term Remedial Action: Operation and maintenance activities performed on large-scale ground water extraction and treatment plants at Superfund sites. These treatment plants are projected to run for several years until ground water remediation standards are achieved.




MARSSIM - Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual

MCLs - Maximum Contaminant Levels: Maximum Contaminant Levels for drinking water, also known as New Jersey Drinking Water Standards.

MDC - Minimum Detectable Concentration

MDL - Method Detection Limit

MIP - Membrane Interface Probe

MNA - Monitored Natural Attenuation

MOA - Memorandum of Agreement: An agreement between NJDEP and responsible parties, developers, or local officials, for investigation and remediation of non-priority contaminated sites under the Voluntary Cleanup Program. In 2009, with the passage of the Site Remediation Reform Act, the Voluntary Cleanup Program was discontinued.

MSHA - Mine Safety and Health Administration

MSP - Medical Surveillance Plan

MTBE - Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether

 MW - Monitor Well: A well that provides access to ground water to sample for laboratory analysis in order to determine ground water quality, depth to ground water and direction of ground water flow.




NA - Natural Attenuation: The process by which contamination is reduced in concentration over time through adsorption, degradation, dilution and/or transformation.

NCP - National Contingency Plan: The basic policy for federal response actions under CERCLA.

NELAP - National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program

NFA - No Further Action: A final remediation document issued by the Department that is a determination based upon an evaluation of the historical uses and/or investigation of a site or subsite that there are no contaminants present, or that any discharged contaminants that were present have been remediated to applicable standards or remediation regulations.

NIOSH - National Institute of Occupational Safety

NJAC - New Jersey Administrative Code

NJDEP- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection: Vision statement - As national leaders in the stewardship of natural resources, we preserve the ecological integrity of the Garden State and maintain and transform places into healthy, sustainable communities. The Site Remediation Program is a unit within the NJDEP. (NJDEP Web site)

NJEDA - New Jersey Economic Development Authority: An independent, self-supporting State financing entity for business and nonprofit organizations. (NJEDA Web site)

NJEMS - New Jersey Environmental Management System: NJDEP’s computer data management system.

NJPDES - New Jersey Pollution Discharge Elimination System Program: The Department issues permits that limit the mass and/or concentrations of pollutants that may be discharged into ground water, streams, rivers, and the ocean by ensuring the proper treatment of wastewater and stormwater prior to discharge. (NJPDES Rules page)

NJRA - New Jersey Redevelopment Authority: A state financing agency committed to the redevelopment of urban New Jersey. (NJRA Web site)

NOCAPA - Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment:  A formal enforcement action that includes a determination that a violation has occurred, and a demand for payment of a specified penalty amount.  NOCAPAs are issued when a violation has been corrected, as a deterrent and punitive measure against future violations. Parties receiving an NOCAPA have 20 calendar days to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. If a hearing request is not received within 20 days, or is denied for another reason, the NOCAPA becomes a final order.

NOD - Notice of Deficiency: A notice issued by the DEP to the person responsible for conducting the remediation in response to a submittal that fails to comply with the requirements of the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (N.J.A.C. 7:26E). A NOD is not a formal enforcement action.

NORM - Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material

NOV - Notice of Violation: A notice issued by the DEP to the person responsible for conducting a remediation that identifies a condition or activity that is in violation of a specific law, regulation or requirement and specifies that a penalty may be imposed. The NOV is intended to warn the person conducting the remediation of the violations, in order to provide an opportunity for them to take corrective action where actioncan prevent formal enforcement orders and penalties. The NOV does not constitute a formal enforcement order, a final agency action or a final legal determination that a violation has occurred.

NPDES - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

NPL - National Priorities List: A list of sites determined by the federal government to have the highest priority based upon a hazard ranking system, making them eligible for federal funding under CERCLA. Sites on the NPL are called Superfund sites.

NRC - Nuclear Regulatory Commission

NRD - Natural Resources Damages: The amount of money DEP has determined is necessary to restore, rehabilitate, replace or otherwise compensate for injury to natural resources as a result of a discharge. (DEP's Office of Natural Resource Restoration Web site)

NRDCSRS - Non-Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standard (previously known as NRDCSCC - Non-residential direct contact soil cleanup criteria):  A soil cleanup standard established to protect human health at non-residential use sites.




O & M - Operation and Maintenance: Activities conducted at a site after a Remedial Action or Interim Remedial Measure has been completed to ensure the action is effective and operating properly. The term O&M covers a wide range of activities, from overseeing the proper functioning of a ground water treatment system to cutting the grass on a landfill cap. O&M can also include environmental monitoring conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a Remedial Action.

OQA - Office of Quality Assurance

ORP - Oxidation Reduction Potential

OSHA - Occupations Safety and Health Administrative

OU - Operable Unit: A portion of an overall remediation at a Superfund site, such as a soil or ground water cleanup. Several OUs may be implemented during the course of a site cleanup. OUs are also sometimes referred to as subsites.

OVA - Organic Vapor Analyzer




PA - Preliminary Assessment: The initial process of collecting data and reviewing available information about a known or suspected waste site or release.

PAH - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (also known as poly-aromatic hydrocarbons or polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons): Chemical compounds that occur in oil, coal, and tar deposits, and are produced as byproducts of fuel burning (whether fossil fuel or biomass).

PBR - Permit- By- Rule

PCBs - Polychlorinated Biphenyls: A group of chemicals used in transformers and capacitors as an insulating material, in gas pipeline systems as a lubricant, and other purposes. Due to their toxicity and environmental persistence, sale and new use of these materials was banned in 1979. Mixtures of PCBs are often referred to as Aroclors.

PDBS - Passive Diffusion Bags Samplers

PEL - Permissible Exposure Limit

PID - Photoionization Detector

PFAS - Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

POET - Point-of-Entry Treatment System: A water filtration system that removes contaminants from private potable wells.

PP - Priority Pollutant Compounds: A list of 126 chemicals defined as toxic pollutants by the Federal Clean Water Act.  PP was deleted from the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation in November 2009 and have been replaced with TAL/TCL.

PP - Proposed Plan: A document that summarizes cleanup alternatives considered for a Superfund site, the preferred cleanup strategy and the rationale for selecting the cleanup strategy. Superfund legislation requires USEPA to solicit public comment on the Proposed Plan as part of the remedy selection process. The final remedial actions selected for the site are outlined in a Record of Decision (ROD).

PPB/PPM - Part Per Billion/Part Per Million: Units of concentration used to express the levels of contaminants at a site.

PPE - Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment

PQL - Practical quantitation level: The smallest quantity of a given substance that can be reliably detected by laboratories with precision and accuracy during routine laboratory operating conditions.

PRP - Potentially Responsible Party: An individual or company that may have contributed to the contamination at a site and may be liable for remediation costs.

PTFE - Polytetrafluoroethylene (e.g. Teflon)

PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride




QA/QC - Quality Assurance/Quality Control: A system of checks and balances used to ensure that field work and laboratory analysis during the investigation and cleanup of a site meets established standards.

QAPP - Quality Assurance Project Plan

QMP - Quality Management Plan



RA - Remedial Action: The implementation of a selected remedy which often follows a Remedial Design. A Remedial Action is sometimes also referred to as a site cleanup or construction project.

RA - Removal Action: A measure taken over the short-term to address a release or potential release of hazardous substances.

RAO – Response Action Outcome: A final remediation document issued by a licensed site remediation professional that a contaminated site was remediated in accordance with all applicable statutes, rules and guidance and is filed with the Department.

RAP - Remedial Action Permit

RAS - Remedial Action Selection: The process of selecting the most appropriate remedy for a non-Superfund site that will ensure protection of the public health, and safety and the environment. It is based on consideration of a variety of factors, including future site use, surrounding land uses, remediation goals and objectives, cost, implementability, reliability and effectiveness. An RAS is often submitted with a RAW and is similar to the Feasibility Study conducted for Superfund sites.

RAW - Remedial Action Work Plan: A plan developed by a responsible party to conduct cleanup work at a contaminated site. It must meet criteria established by the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (N.J.A.C. 7:26E-6).

RCRA - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: A Federal statute that requires comprehensive regulation of hazardous waste generation, transport, treatment and disposal. New Jersey has been delegated responsibility for RCRA and has enacted a comprehensive body of regulations to administer the Act, including public hearings.

RD - Remedial Design: The engineering specifications developed to implement a remedy. It usually follows the Feasibility Study or Remedial Action Selection.

RDCSRS - Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standard (previously known as cleanup criteria): A soil cleanup standard established to protect human health at residential use sites, schools (pre-K-12) and childcare centers.

RE - Receptor Evaluation:  A process required by the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (N.J.A.C. 7:26E) to identify and report to the DEP the existence of human or ecological receptors and the actions taken to protect receptors.

RFS – Remedial Funding Source:  The posting of monies by certain obligated parties remediating sites to ensure completion of cleanups. The purpose of the establishment of an RFS is to ensure the availability of funds for remediation and to ensure public funds are not spent in remediating contaminated sites. (RFS Guidance Document)

RI - Remedial Investigation: An in-depth study designed to gather data necessary to determine the nature and extent of contamination at a site and establish criteria for addressing it. The RI is usually done with a Feasibility Study at Superfund sites or with a Remedial Action Selection at non-Superfund sites.

RI/FS - Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study

ROD - Record of Decision: A public document that explains which cleanup alternative will be used at a Superfund site. The Record of Decision is based on information and technical analysis generated by the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study and consideration of public comments and community concerns.

RP - Responsible Party: A person, company or other entity that has been determined to be legally responsible for discharge of a hazardous substance. The New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act has a broader definition of responsible party than CERCLA.

RPPS - Rigid Porous Polyethylene Sampler

RQL - Reported Quantitation Level




SI – Site Investigation: The collection and evaluation of data adequate to determine whether or not discharged contaminants exist at a site or have migrated or are migrating from the site at levels in excess of the applicable remediation standards. A site investigation is developed based upon the information collected during the preliminary assessment.

SOP - Standard Operating Procedure

SOW -Statement of Work

SRRA – Site Remediation Reform Act:  Passed on May 7, 2009, SRRA provides sweeping changes to the way in which sites are remediated in New Jersey and also amends other statutes such as the Brownfield and Contaminated Sites Act and the Spill Compensation and Control Act. (A "courtesy copy" of the Act)

 SVOCs - Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds: A class of organic compounds that is made up of acid extractable and base neutral organic compounds. Examples of SVOCs include polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenols and phthalates.

SW - Surface Water: Bodies of water that are above ground, such as rivers, lakes and streams.




TAL/TCL – Target Analyte List/Target Compound List:  A list of inorganic/organic compounds and elements designated for analysis by the EPA Contract Laboratory Program.  The list is used by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department to evaluate contaminated sites.

TAG - Technical Assistance Grant Program: A state grant program that provides funds for eligible citizens’ groups to hire independent technical advisors to interpret remediation documents to help improve the community’s understanding of the environmental conditions at, and remediation of, contaminated sites. (TAG Info & Guidance)

TCLP - Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure

Tech. Regs. or Tech Rules - Technical Requirements for Site Remediation: NJDEP’s procedures for investigating and cleaning up a site and is codified in N.J.A.C. 7:26E.

TOC - Total Organic Carbon

TPH - Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (see PHC)




USEPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency

USGS - United States Geological Service

UST - Underground Storage Tank: A tank located all or partially underground that is designed to hold petroleum products or other chemicals. (SRP UST page)

UST Fund - Underground Storage Tank Remediation, Upgrade and Closure Fund: A fund that provides loans and grants to eligible owners and operators of regulated and non-regulated petroleum underground storage tanks to help finance project costs for the upgrade, closure and remediation of discharges from underground storage tanks. (UST Fund page)




VCP - Voluntary Cleanup Program: A program that offered responsible parties, developers, local officials or individuals the opportunity to work with DEP to investigate and clean up sites with limited contamination. DEP oversaw the remedial activities under a Memorandum of Agreement with the parties conducting the work. (See Administrative Consent Order.)  With the passage of the Site Remediation Reform Act in 2009, the Voluntary Cleanup Program was discontinued.

VLF - Very Low Frequency

VOA - Volatile Organics Analysis

VOC - Volatile Organic Compounds: A class of organic compounds that evaporate readily at room temperature. Examples of products that contain VOCs include gasoline, dry cleaning fluid and paint thinners.




WQIPs - Water Quality Indicator Parameters




XRF - X-Ray Fluorescence, Syn. (FPXRF) - Field Portable XRF

End of Glossary