Orphan Sites

Contact
Cindi Martinez
Brownfields and Orphan Sites Remediation Program Supervisor
307-777-2948
Evaluation Process

This page contains information on the process of how SHWD identifies and evaluates orhpan sites in Wyoming.  

Orphan Site Identification

Once a site is identified as a potential orphan site, DEQ will determine whether the site is in fact an orphan site. Sites can be identified as potential orphan sites by:

  • Referral from other DEQ programs or state agencies
  • Citizen complaints, including anonymous complaints
  • Evidence of contamination on adjacent properties
  • Data submitted voluntarily by property owners or their representatives
  • Research efforts by the DEQ or its contractors

If you believe there may be a potential orphan site in your community, please contact Cindi Martinez at (307) 777-2948.

Orphan Site Evaluation

Orphan Sites are evaluated based on the following: 

  • Potential Contaminants: the toxicity/hazard of the contaminant(s), concentration of the contaminant(s) in soil and groundwater, and hazardous vapors and particulates from the contaminant(s).
  • Local Environment: the depth of groundwater and proximity to surface water.
  • Human Exposure: proximity to drinking water source and land use.
  • Ecological Receptor: whether there is important/sensitive habitat or threatened or endangered species near the site.

DEQ uses an Orphan Site Evaluation Worksheet to document the risks at a site.

Site Lists

DEQ has prioritized its list of orphan sites, and those sites with the highest priority will likely be considered first for cleanup activities. 

You can access the current orphan site list and map from the Downloads table below. The DEQ may reconsider the prioritization list with additional data, information, or changes in existing site conditions.

DEQ established a process for identifying orphan sites and prioritizing the resources available to clean them up. For more detailed information regarding orphan sites, please review the Orphan Site Identification, Evaluation, and Prioritization Process document. 

To learn more about how orphan sites are evaluated, how potential sites are identified and prioritized, and to see the list orphan sites in Wyoming, click in the Resource Tabs below.

Under the Environmental Quality Act “Orphan Sites” are defined as:

  • Sites where the DEQ determines that there is no viable party that is responsible for causing or contributing to the contamination present at the site.
     
  • Sites where DEQ has issued a no further action letter, and where there is a subsequent discovery of contamination that was present at the site when the no further action letter was issued, but:
    • Was not known to the site owner or DEQ at the time the no further action letter was issued, provided that a comprehensive and complete site characterization was conducted by the owner.
    • Is not the result of activities conducted on the site after the no further action letter was issued.
    • Does not constitute an imminent or substantial endangerment to human health or the environment that is being addressed by the holder of the no further action letter, to a reopening of the no further action letter under the Environmental Act.
       
  • Spill sites where DEQ determines that the person responsible for the spill cannot be identified, or where DEQ must take prompt action to prevent hazards to human health or the environment at a site where a responsible party fails to act promptly.