6- Remedy Selection & Implementation

This page contains information regarding remedies that are proposed and evaluated for cleanup of contaminated media at VRP sites. These remedies must meet the remedy standards defined in the Environmental Quality Act.

To meet those standards, and depending on site circumstances, a Volunteer may use predetermined cleanup levels (see Fact Sheet 12) or may develop site-specific cleanup levels for impacted media. In addition, remedies can include institutional and engineering controls.

Remedy Standards

Remedies under the VRP must meet minimum standards that:

  • Protect human health, safety, and the environment.
  • Remediate contaminated air, soil, and water to attain applicable cleanup levels established under Federal or State law or regulation or to attain site-specific risk-based cleanup levels developed for the site.
  • Control any sources of releases to reduce or eliminate, to the extent technically practicable, further releases as required to protect human health and the environment.
  • Comply with any applicable standard for management of wastes generated as a consequence of the remedy.

The Volunteer must provide a description of alternative remedial actions to be evaluated and propose remedies that meet the minimum standards identified above.

Further, when evaluating a remedy or combination of remedies, the Volunteer must address the balancing criteria found in the Environmental Quality Act, and described in question #15 of Fact Sheet #21. The relative importance of the balancing criteria may vary based on site-specific conditions.

Institutional Controls

Institutional controls are legal or administrative measures that limit human exposure to contaminants. Examples of institutional controls include:

  • Use control areas
  • Easements
  • Zoning restrictions
  • Deed notices

A site may have a single or multiple institutional controls to enhance the protectiveness of the remedy.

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls are measures that help manage environmental and health risks by reducing contamination levels or limiting exposure pathways. Examples of engineering controls include:

  • Capping
  • Containment
  • Slurry walls
  • Extraction walls
  • Treatment methods

Formalizing Remedies

Remedy selection is formalized in a remedy agreement. A remedy agreement is an agreement between DEQ and a Volunteer that establishes the specific remedial actions that will be implemented at a site. The remedy and remediation standards for a site that are set forth in a remedy agreement are permanent, subject to the reopeners and termination clauses defined in the Environmental Quality Act (see Fact Sheet #21).

A remedy agreement typically contains:

  • A remedial action plan
  • A description of any engineering or institutional controls that are associated with the remedy
  • A schedule
  • Provisions for modifying (reopening) or terminating the agreement
  • Financial assurances
  • Other provisions necessary to support efficient and effective implementation of the remedy.

Remedy Implementation

Once the DEQ and the Volunteer enter into a remedy agreement, the Volunteer implements the remedy in accordance with the terms and conditions in the agreement.

Remedy implementation includes:

  • Construction and start-up of the remedy
  • Monitoring of remediation progress
  • Remedy progress reports to DEQ
  • Sampling and analysis to confirm that cleanup levels are achieved at points of compliance

Liability Assurances

When a remedy agreement is in place, DEQ can issue a covenant not to sue.  Following completion of remedial actions, the Volunteer may seek either a certificate of completion or no further action from the DEQ.

For more information about these liability assurances, please see the Incentives web page or Fact Sheet #15 Liability Assurances.