Brownfields and the Voluntary Remediation Program economic and environmental metrics survey
In an effort to generate ideas on the future of the Voluntary Remediation Program, DEQ held three (3) VRP Listening Sessions in the fall of 2012; in the Northern Regional Office on October 10th, Tidewater Regional Office on October 12th, and in the Roanoke Regional Office on October 22nd. Participants encouraged DEQ to prepare a study using real data and suggested collecting the data from sites that had completed the program. Several stakeholders attending these sessions recommended that DEQ try to quantify the benefit of VRP by characterizing the economic value of the transformed site. DEQ agreed with this recommendation and as a result has prepared a short survey for all participants currently enrolled or those who have completed the VRP and Brownfields programs. Your voluntary responses from this survey will be used to develop program direction and maybe shared at future listening sessions.
The Virginia DEQ conducted a Voluntary Remediation Outreach on June 12, 2012 at which a great deal of helpful information was presented. DEQ’s presentation is available by viewing all four parts:
The purpose of the Voluntary Remediation Program is to encourage hazardous substance cleanups that might not otherwise take place. The program is a streamlined mechanism for site owners or operators to voluntarily address contamination at sites with concurrence from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
When the remediation is satisfactorily completed, DEQ issues a "certification of satisfactory completion of remediation." This certification provides assurance that the remediated site will not later become the subject of a DEQ enforcement action unless new issues are discovered. It is anticipated that the VRP will facilitate the sale and reuse of industrial and commercial properties in the Commonwealth, which is an important benefit to all Virginia residents.
As the potential environmental liabilities of reusing or further developing existing commercial properties diminishes, economic benefits are expected for both the buyer and seller. An added benefit is the decrease of expansion of commercial sites onto pristine lands. By overseeing the process, DEQ is able to ensure that the cleanup achieves a satisfactory level of human health and environmental protection. The program is not intended to serve as an alternative to or refuge from applicable laws, regulatory requirements or enforcement actions.