DEQ’s Division of Land Protection and Revitalization administers several programs designed to ensure that the cleanup of contaminated sites in Virginia achieve a satisfactory level of human health and environmental protection. DEQ has statutory authority to administer the Voluntary Remediation Program, Brownfield/Land Renewal Program, and the Groundwater and Corrective Action Program. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, became law in December 1980. Superfund established a program to identify sites from which releases of hazardous substances into the environment might occur or have already occurred, and to respond to these sites that were often abandoned and /or where the owner or the operator was bankrupt. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administers the Superfund program in Virginia, and DEQ performs necessary activities mandated by the Superfund law.
DEQ assists property owners in turning contaminated properties back to productive use through its Brownfield/Land Renewal program and the Voluntary Remediation Program. DEQ has worked with EPA to develop a structured process to determine whether uncontrolled hazardous waste sites are eligible to be addressed under Superfund using DEQ’s Site Assessment Program. DEQ participates in a partnering team process with several federal facilities located in Virginia to facilitate cleanup of contaminated military installations and formerly used defense sites. All of DEQ’s remediation programs use risk assessment to determine whether cleanup is necessary and to ensure that the cleanup protects human health and the environment.