Updates on Washington State Department of Ecology Voluntary Cleanup Program
Here are updates from my recent meetings with Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) staff to discuss the status of Ecology’s Voluntary Cleanup Program.
New Checklists and Templates for Voluntary Cleanup Program Reporting
Ecology has created new checklists to be used when preparing remedial investigation reports, feasibility study reports, or cleanup action plans under its Toxics Cleanup Program. These checklists will be used by all Voluntary Cleanup Program site managers to more quickly assess whether a report provides the information that the agency requires in order to complete its review. The checklists can be found on Ecology’s Web site: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/policies/checklists.html.
In addition to the checklists, Ecology has prepared a Remedial Investigation Report Template. Project managers should be aware that, while it is not a requirement to use the template or to include all items in the checklists, your project may be delayed if you leave out any of the items without including an adequate explanation for why the missing component is not needed or applicable. Providing the Voluntary Cleanup Program a complete and clear report will facilitate Ecology’s review, and likely will reduce the need to submit multiple report revisions to supply missing information, saving time and money.
Staffing Shortages in the Southwest Region may cause delays
The Southwest Region Voluntary Cleanup Program unit recently lost three staff members. Ecology is actively looking to fill two of the positions, but acknowledges that the process could take months or longer. In the meantime, all of the Voluntary Cleanup Program projects in the Southwest Region (approximately 115 projects) are being handled by the unit manager and the lone site manager. Ecology believes that responses for sites already in the queue will take longer than its stated goal of 90 days. If you plan to enter a site into the Southwest Region Voluntary Cleanup Program, you should expect the review process to extend beyond 90 days.
Alan R. Hughes, RG, LG, PG
Contact me if you have any questions about Ecology’s updates to the Voluntary Cleanup Program.