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Regulatory Handbook -> Waste and Toxic Substance Permits -> Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP)

Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP)

What is the Purpose of this Program?
The purpose of the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) is to facilitate independent remedial action at contaminated sites under the requirements of the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). People may conduct independent remedial actions by applying to and joining the VCP. Some independent cleanup projects comply with the VCP requirements to receive a no further action opinion, but joining VCP is not necessary to clean up a site. VCP applicants have the option of applying to either the Standard VCP process or the Expedited VCP process. The VCP may provide informal, site-specific technical consultations for people who conduct independent remedial actions. Consultations may include:
  • Technical Assistance. Ecology may provide technical assistance to people before and during a remedial investigation or cleanup of a contaminated site, including assistance with identifying and applying regulatory requirements.
  • Informal Opinions. Ecology may provide written opinions on whether a planned or completed investigation or cleanup of a contaminated site complies with regulatory requirements. After completing a cleanup, Ecology may issue a no further action (NFA) opinion, if it determines that no further remedial action, in compliance with MTCA, is necessary at a contaminated site.
Who Issues this Program?
Department of Ecology
What Activities Require this Program?
The VCP is a voluntary program and is not required for conducting independent remedial actions at a contaminated site.
How Much Will this Program Cost?
Costs to join the Standard VCP process vary from those of the Expedited VCP process
  • Standard VCP process:  Applying to the Standard VCP process has no cost. If accepted, customers pay only a portion of Ecology’s costs for document review and technical assistance.
  • Expedited VCP process: Applying to the Expedited VCP process requires a nonrefundable application fee of $3,000. If accepted, customers must also submit an initial prepayment $20,000 within 30 calendar days of Ecology’s initial invoice date. Ecology bills monthly with hourly charges deducted from the prepayment. Ecology reserves a portion of the prepayment for the closeout fee, which is deducted when the agreement ends.  Expedited VCP rates are shown in the Expedited VCP guidance.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Program?
The application which is called 'VCP Application' is online and can be accessed at https://ecology.wa.gov/Spills-Cleanup/Contamination-cleanup/Cleanup-process/Cleanup-options/Voluntary-cleanup-program.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
Yes. A complete Standard VCP application consists of all the following items:Follow the instructions on the VCP application for a complete Standard VCP application submittal. A complete Expedited VCP application consists of all the following items:See the Expedited VCP guidance for additional information. Follow the instructions on the VCP application for a complete Expedited VCP application submittal.
Is the Decision on my Program Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
When making the decision whether to accept your application, Ecology will consider the applicable laws and rules, the contents of your application, and the background environmental conditions at the site.
  • Review of application to enter the VCP: Ecology's decision to provide consulting services is based on the information provided in the Standard VCP and Expedited VCP applications. However, Ecology may consider other site information.
  • Response to request for service under the VCP: Ecology's response to a request for consulting services is based on information provided by the applicant. However, Ecology may consider other site information.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
Ecology’s goal is to respond within 10 days of receiving a complete Standard VCP application. Ecology may request additional information. Ecology will respond with a written decision.

For Expedited VCP applicants, Ecology will accept or reject an application within 10 calendar days of receiving the nonrefundable application fee.
Where do I Submit my Application?
The application submittal process differs for Standard VCP and Expedited VCP.
  • Standard VCP process: Send a complete Standard VCP application to the contact for the region of the site, as indicated in the VCP application form.
  • Expedited VCP process:
    Email a complete Expedited VCP application to:
        Expedited VCP Planner
        sarah.wollwage@ecy.wa.gov

    Mail Expedited VCP materials requiring ink signature to:
       Expedited VCP Planner
       Toxics Cleanup Program
       Department of Ecology
       PO Box 47600
       Lacey, WA 98504-7600
How Long is my Program Valid?
Agreements under the VCP are valid until terminated by Ecology or the customer. Either party may terminate the agreement without cause by sending written notice to the other party by certified mail, return receipt requested. The effective date of termination shall be the date Ecology sends notice to the applicant or the date Ecology receives notice from the applicant, whichever occurs first.
What is the Appeal Process for the Program?
  • Appeal of application rejection to enter the VCP: There is no process to challenge a decision by Ecology to reject an application to enter the VCP. While Ecology has the authority to provide consulting services under the VCP, Ecology is not required to provide those services. An applicant may always resubmit an application and include additional information.
  • Appeal of VCP written opinion: There is no process to challenge a written opinion issued by Ecology. However, an applicant or customer may submit additional information to Ecology and request another advisory opinion.
Notes / Comments:
The VCP application form is used for both Standard VCP and Expedited VCP can be downloaded from Ecology’s publications & forms homepage. For updates and more information, please go to the Voluntary Cleanup Program website.
Statewide Contact:
Department of Ecology
Toxics Cleanup Program
Headquarters
300 Desmond Drive
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Telephone: (360) 407-7170
Fax: (360) 407-7154
Website: https://ecology.wa.gov/Spills-Cleanup/Contamination-cleanup/Voluntary-Cleanup-Program
* Permit information last updated 12/10/2020
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