DEQ created its Voluntary Cleanup Program to provide oversight to property owners and others wishing to investigate and clean up hazardous substance sites in a voluntary, cooperative manner. The program's goal is to increase the number of remediated sites by streamlining the cleanup process while ensuring compliance with Oregon environmental regulations. Projects range from simple sites with a limited amount of contaminated soil to complex sites with multiple contaminants in soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment, and/or air. The Voluntary Cleanup Program offers two options for cleaning up contaminated sites, the Independent Cleanup Pathway and the traditional Voluntary Cleanup Pathway.
General Independent and Voluntary Cleanup Pathway information
Independent Cleanup Pathway
The Department of Environmental Quality created the Independent Cleanup Pathway to assist parties wishing to clean up contaminated sites without ongoing DEQ oversight. If a cleanup is completed to a level that is protective of human health and the environment and is consistent with Oregon's cleanup regulations, DEQ will issue a No Further Action (NFA) letter to the responsible party when the cleanup activities are completed, reviewed, and approved. The ICP is specifically designed for low- and medium-priority sites; it is not available for high-priority sites.
The report guide and outline are helpful both in determining the scope of a project and in preparing the final report to DEQ.
Voluntary Cleanup Pathway
The Voluntary Cleanup Pathway is the original voluntary cleanup path, where DEQ provides oversight throughout the investigation and cleanup. This option is available for voluntary high-priority sites, as well as lower priority sites, with contamination in any environmental medium (soil, groundwater, sediment, surface water, or air). VCP provides a flexible schedule. Work can be completed as part of a site development project, as operable units, or based on an annual budget. DEQ oversight ensures that your cleanup will meet Oregon’s Environmental Cleanup Law.