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VRP Process Overview

Part 1 application. Step one required of parties wishing to participate in the Voluntary Remediation Program is to submit a “Request for Eligibility Determination”. The request consists of a completed VRP application to incorporate the Phase 1 Registration Fee ($2,000) and another information that might assist in the eligibility determination. The department will make an eligibility determination in accordance with 9VAC20-160-30 and notify the applicant in writing of DEQ determination.

Part 2 Enrollment. Upon concurrence on the site’s eligibility, and submittal of the phase 2 registration fee, ($7,500) the location might be considered enrolled within the VRP

Part 3 – Submittal Requirements. The participant prepares and submits a voluntary remediation report, which consists of a site characterization report, a risk assessment, a remedial action plan, documentation of public notice and a demonstration of completion.. A checklist is accessible that summarizes the types of knowledge to be included in each submittal. The checklist will be obtained from the VRP webpage.

Part 4 – Remediation Goals. Remediation goals within the VRP may be established based on either background levels or on a risk assessment. Institutional controls (e.g. land use restrictions, ground water use restrictions) could also be included within the VRP remediation goals to facilitate closure of a site.

Part 5 – Public Participation. A necessary requirement of the VRP is public participation. It is meant to provide the public a chance to supply comments on the proposed remediation.

Part 6 – Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Remediation. If DEQ is satisfied that the objectives of the remedial action plan have been met, the established cleanup standards for the location have been achieved, and migration of contamination united states net exporter of oil has stabilized, the DEQ director issues a certification of satisfactory completion of remediation. The VRP process is then complete.

Program Requirements
Determination of Eligibility

A potential participant within the Voluntary Remediation Program must first submit a request for eligibility determination. This request consists of a completed application presenting documentation that the positioning meets the administrative requirements of eligibility based on parameters specified in 9 VAC 20-160-30. The request for eligibility determination also includes information akin to operational history, maps, proof of ownership, right of access, identification of contamination, and regulatory jurisdictional analysis. The VRP staff then verifies that the site is eligible by requesting the appropriate DEQ regional office to find out if remediation is mandated under its jurisdiction (primarily waste compliance and petroleum programs). Concurrently, the application is reviewed by the Office of Waste Permitting to find out if there is a closure or corrective action requirement imposed through DEQ’s RCRA authorities. Following this review, a determination is made whether the site is eligible for the VRP. The participant is then directed to proceed to the subsequent phase of the VRP, or is notified of the location’s ineligibility for this system.

A site that has already been cleaned up may be eligible for the VRP. On this case, remediation activities have to be documented as required by VRP regulations, and cleanup levels should be commensurate with VRP criteria. Petroleum releases not mandated for cleanup under Article 9 of the Virginia Water Control Law (petroleum storage tanks) could also be eligible for participation in the program. However, if such sites are enrolled in the program, they are not eligible for reimbursement through the Underground Storage Tank/Above Ground Storage Tank Remediation Reimbursement Program.

Registration Fees
A $2000 Phase 1 registration fee is required at time of application submittal, made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia
Upon determination that the site is eligible, a $7500 Phase 2 Registration fee is then assessed, and is due within 90 days. Only after receipt of the $7500 enrollment fee, is the positioning considered enrolled within the VRP.
Following enrollment, on November 1 of every calendar year thereafter, any site participating in this system ( i.e. no certificate issued) on that day shall be assessed a phase 3 registration fee of $4500 if the applying on which the eligibility determination was based was received by the department in a calendar year previous to that year. Payment of the phase 3 registration is due on April 1.
The above fee schedule does not apply to sites that made application previous to July 2014

Submittal Requirements
The participant prepares and submits to DEQ a Voluntary Remediation Report (Report). The Report shall consist of the next components: a Site Characterization, a Risk Assessment, a Remedial Action Plan, a Demonstration of Completion, and Documentation of Public Notice. Each component of the Report shall be submitted as listed below:

Site characterization. The site Characterization component shall provide documentation of the site conditions including the identification and outline of each area of concern (or source); the nature and extent of releases to all media, including a map of the onsite and offsite vertical and horizontal extent of contaminants above levels in keeping with 9VAC20-160-90; and a discussion of the potential risk or risks posed by the discharge. If remedial activities have occurred previous to enrollment, this information shall be included.

The danger Assessment component contains an evaluation of the risks to human health and the environment posed by the release based on site characterization component for both on and offsite properties per 9VAC20-160-90.

The Remedial Action Plan component shall propose the precise activities, a schedule for those activities, any permits required to initiate and complete the remediation, and specific design plans for implementing remediation that will achieve a remediation level per 9VAC20-160-90. Control or elimination of continuing onsite source or sources of releases to the environment shall be discussed. Land use controls and any permits required for the remediation process needs to be discussed as appropriate. If no remedial action being justified, the Remedial Action Plan shall discuss the reasoning for concluding no action is critical.
Guidance for Addressing Contaminated Groundwater at Voluntary Remediation Sites is accessible in Adobe PDF format.

The Demonstration of Completion component shall include the following, as applicable:
– A summary of the remediation implemented at the location, including a discussion of the remediation systems installed and a description of the remediation activities that occurred at the positioning.
– A summary of how the established site-specific objectives have been achieved, including (i) a description of how onsite releases (or sources) of contamination have been eliminated or controlled, and (ii) confirmational sampling results demonstrating that the remediation level objectives have been achieved and that the migration of contamination has been stabilized.
– An outline of any site restrictions including, but not limited to, land use controls that are proposed for the certificate.
– A demonstration that all other criteria for completion of remediation have been satisfied.
– Certification by the participant that activities performed at the location pursuant to the chapter have been in compliance with all applicable regulations.

Note: It is the participant’s responsibility to make sure that investigation and remediation activities are performed in accordance with all applicable and appropriate regulations (e.g. solid or hazardous waste management, erosion and sedimentation control, air emission control, and wetlands and other sensitive ecological habitat protection). Although these may not be required under state or federal law, measures may be necessary to make sure no further release of contaminants and protection of human health and the environment.

Remediation Goals
Use classification

Remediation levels could also be based on background (naturally occurring), published risk-based standards or a risk assessment. If a risk assessment is performed, it should consider exposure pathways for current and future land use for levels of contaminants that may remain at the positioning and in surrounding areas. For more information, review the Voluntary Remediation Program Risk Assessment Guidance. The remediation levels will dictate whether the closure of a VRP site is “restricted” or “unrestricted.”
For an unrestricted closure of a VRP site, all media at a site are cleaned as much as remediation levels based on either background or standards for residential exposure. No remediation techniques or controls which require ongoing management (comparable to institutional or engineering controls) could also be employed to realize this classification.
Restricted closures, as the term suggests, involve restrictions on using the sites. A description of use restrictions is usually attached to the deed for the property so that future purchasers are aware of them. Restrictions may include, but not be limited to, institutional controls and engineering controls. Examples of institutional controls are restrictions on ground water used, or land use. Engineering controls may include caps or fences. Types of restrictions vary with site conditions, and may be imposed for only a specific media; for example, ground water. The long run use of a site with restrictions could also be anything from residential to industrial. The restrictions necessary to attain standards for a particular land use united states net exporter of oil are described within the certification of satisfactory completion of remediation.

Remediation Levels
After the positioning characterization is completed, remediation levels are derived using the three-tiered approach described in the regulations. Anyone tier or combination of tiers could also be applied to ascertain remediation levels for contaminants present at a site, as long as site use restrictions discussed above are considered. 

– Tier I remediation levels are based on background samples collected from portions of the location not impacted by the contaminants of concern.
– Tier II remediation levels are based on published, media-specific values, derived using conservative default assumptions. 
– Tier III remediation levels are based upon a site-specific risk assessment, which considers site-specific assumptions about current and potential future exposure scenarios for population(s) of concern, including ecological receptors, and characteristics of the affected media.

Public Participation
To adjust to the general public participation requirements of the voluntary remediation regulations, the participant must complete the following:

– Provide a notice describing the proposed or completed remedy to the local government where the location is located.
– Provide the same notice to all adjacent property owners, other owners whose property has been affected by contaminants as determined through the site characterization report.
– Publish the notice once in a newspaper of general circulation in the realm affected by the voluntary action.
– Provide a 30 day comment period once the notice is issued.
– Provide documentation to the department of the public notice and any comments received and evaluation of the comments impact on the project.

Note: Issuance of the public notice may proceed only after the Department has concurred with the positioning Characterization Report and the proposed or completed remediation.

Certification of Satisfactory Completion of Remediation
A Certification of Satisfactory Completion of Remediation (Certificate) is issued after a participant satisfactorily demonstrates attainment of the remediation levels with or without the longer term site use restrictions, migration of contamination has been stabilized and the director concurs with all work submitted. The Certificate contains an overview of conditions under which it is issued. The Certificate typically features a Declaration of Restrictive Covenants that generally provides:

– Restrictions on future use.
– Required institutional controls.
– Required engineering controls and their maintenance.

The Certificate provides immunity to enforcement actions under the Virginia Waste Management Act (Section 10.1-1400 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), the Virginia State Water Control Law (Section 62.1-44.2 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law (Section 10.1-1300 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), or other applicable Virginia law. The immunity granted by the Certificate is limited to site conditions on the time of issuance, which are described within the Voluntary Remediation Report (i.e. nature and extent of contamination), and is conditional upon completeness and accuracy of the information in that report. Specific limitations of the certificate are enumerated in it.

If a use restriction is specified in the Certificate, the Certificate and Declaration of Restrictive Covenants have to be recorded with the land records in the Circuit Court where the site is located. If the closure is unrestricted, recordation of the Certificate is optional. The immunity accorded by the Certificate applies to the participant, but in addition “runs with the land” identified.

Guidance for the Voluntary Remediation Program Certification of Satisfactory Completion of Remediation is now available in Adobe PDF format.

A Model Certificate is now available in PDF format. Microsoft Word formatted Model Certificate is also available.