The WV DEP’s Voluntary Remediation Program stems from the West Virginia Legislature’s Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Act (VRRA). The VRRA encourages voluntary clean-ups of contaminated sites as well as redevelopments of abandoned and under-utilized properties, in the hope of counteracting the lack of growth on sites with contamination or perceived contamination. The Voluntary Program follows an administrative program set out in the WV Code of State Regulations, Title 60, Series 3 entitled the Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Rule (or simply, the Rule), which initially became effective on July 1, 1997.
The diverse group of stakeholders that developed both the VRRA and the Rule created a strong program that protects communities and the environment while still promoting economic development in West Virginia. The VRRA provides a flexibility in voluntary clean-ups that marks a turning point in state environmental policy.
The Voluntary Program seeks to identify and address potential contamination at a given site. It also sets applicable remediation standards and confirms that the site maintains these standards.
These remediation standards are promulgated as part of the Rule, but are subject to periodic revision, as new scientific information provides more precise estimates of chemical toxicity. The current standards were promulgated with the most recent rule revision (effective 5/1/12) and are included with the Rule provided in the list below (See §60-3 Voluntary Rule). The current De Minimis standards (Table §60-3B) may also be downloaded from the list below, in Adobe or Excel formats.
Applicants who remediate sites under the standards provided in the Rule also benefit from:
-limited enforcement actions by the WV DEP;
-limited liability under environmental laws and rules;
-the ability to redevelop sites with existing industrial infrastructure at a lower price; and,
-financial incentives to invest in Brownfields.
On February 24, 2010, WVDEP signed a CERCLA Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with USEPA with specific language acknowledging and supporting the use of the VRP 60CSR3 comprehensive cleanup rules. This MOA clarifiys the intentions and expectations of U.S EPA Region III and WVDEP regarding the cleanup and reuse of contaminated properties that are addressed by WVDEP under West Virginia law.
Participation in the program begins when the owner or operator of a site, a developer, prospective purchaser, or another interested party files an application. The applicant must also execute a Voluntary Remediation Agreement with the Director of the WVDEP.
The Voluntary Remediation Agreement must provide for:
1) the services of a Licensed Remediation Specialist
2) recovery of costs incurred by the WVDEP in excess of fees submitted by the applicant;
3) a schedule for payment of recoverable costs;
4) descriptions of the work plan and other reports that will be submitted;
5) a listing of applicable environmental requirements for the site;
6) technical standards for work at the site;
7) any engineering or institutional controls or land use covenants applicable for the site; and
8) criteria for reopening and modification of the agreement.
Once the Voluntary Remediation Agreement is in effect, the WVDEP cannot take any enforcement actions against the applicant for the site and its contamination, unless there is an imminent threat to the public.The WV Risk Assessment Guide provides more information or you can contact a project manager.