Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program
Last updated March 22, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
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The Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program (BVCP) addresses and oversees brownfield cleanup and promotes the redevelopment of brownfields for the department. This is done through four different programs.
Voluntary Cleanup Program
First established by the state legislature in 1994, the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) is administered by the Hazardous Waste Program's (HWP) BVCP Section to provide state oversight for voluntary cleanups of properties contaminated with hazardous substances. Many of the sites entering the BVCP are not heavily contaminated, and are contaminated by sources not addressed by any of Department of Natural Resources' regulatory programs such as Emergency Response, Superfund, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or Petroleum Storage Tanks.
Nevertheless, the property owners, business operators, or prospective buyers want the property cleaned up to standards acceptable to the state, and to receive some type of certification of the cleanup from the department. This certification can greatly reduce the environmental liability associated with such properties. In situations where residual contamination is safely left on the property under management of a Restrictive Covenant, after a certificate of completion is issued, these sites enter long-term stewardship.
Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program Application and Consent to Access Form FILL-IN PDF 159 KB
HWP's BVCP also administers the DERT Fund. Senate Bill 577 established the DERT Fund and RSMo 260.920 authorized the DERT Fund. The DERT fund established monies for investigation, assessment and remediation of releases of chlorinated solvents from dry cleaning facilities. All dry cleaning facilities, including coin operated dry cleaners, are subject to the requirements of this statute. As of Sept. 3, 2012, the Drycleaning Environmental Response Trust Fund is no longer accepting new applications for enrollment until further notice.
BVCP, under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), conducts brownfields site-specific assessments of properties for public entities such as cities, counties and quasi-governmental entities, as well as for not-for-profit organizations. Often, local governments acquire contaminated properties through foreclosure for back taxes, land donations or may own property they would like to sell for redevelopment purposes. These entities sometimes have difficulty finding adequate funding to pay for environmental assessments prior to redevelopment. The site-specific assessment program provides funding and technical assistance to help communities assess properties. Often, it is the unknown environmental condition of the property that dissuades developers. An assessment provides valuable information that can aid in making decisions regarding the future of the property.
Long-term stewardship (LTS) includes all activities necessary to reliably prevent residual contamination or other environmental conditions from posing a risk to people or the environment following completion of cleanup, disposal or stabilization at a site. LTS activities include inspection, maintenance, information management and distribution and public awareness. This program not only manages VCP LTS sites, but the department began an LTS consolidation effort in 2012 to ensure LTS sites for the entire HWP are properly managed.
Have a Site? Have Questions?
Do you have a piece of property you think might be contaminated with hazardous substances? Do you want to clean it up so it is safe but are not sure where to start? Are you concerned about disclosing the contamination to the department or are you wondering what your legal obligations are? Are you considering buying a piece of property that may be contaminated? Have you done soil testing but are not sure how to interpret the results?
If you have these kinds of questions, BVCP might be able to help. BVCP is a non-enforcement program designed to help property owners and provide "closure" when the property is clean to approved specifications, thereby facilitating property transactions.
BVCP staff is available to answer questions about how the program works. Although not everything can be answered over the phone without reviewing site assessment reports, the information you need to decide how to proceed is available from department staff. Call 573-526-8913 or email.