Inactive Hazardous Sites Program

The Inactive Hazardous Sites Branch (Branch) is responsible for oversight and approval of the assessment and remediation of hazardous substance contaminated sites. These sites include historical and any recent accidental releases of hazardous substances and, where present in or threatening groundwater, other contaminants. Excluded are discharges associated with DEQ permits, hazardous waste dumping, agricultural operations, federal remediation sites, petroleum releases and sites undergoing remediation by the State's Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Act (DSCA) Program. The Branch oversees remedial actions, conducts any necessary enforcement at sites deemed to be the highest priority and conducts the work itself at orphaned sites when state resources are available for such.

Note that DEQ has a separate Brownfields Site Program that removes the liability obstacle for purchasers seeking to redevelop contaminated property who did not cause the contamination. This program only obligates the purchaser to work on the property being purchased. Thus, responsible parties are still required to address the contamination at these properties that is continuing to migrate off the property and potentially harm occupants of neighboring properties. Additionally, a current owner may seek a Ready for Reuse Brownfields Program Agreement that would protect and encourage purchasers. Neither of these BFP Agreements relieve a responsible party from addressing uncontrolled contamination.

Note there are risk-based remedial options to remediate sites under the Inactive Hazardous Sites Program as well as expedited procedures to address mildly contaminated sites. Refer to the web links below to purse those options.

Risk-Based Remediation

Quick Clean and Other Guidance

Pre-Regulatory Landfills: The Branch has a separate program for addressing pre-regulatory, non-industrial landfills that ceased accepting waste before 1983. The Branch conducts the assessment and remediation of these sites directly.  Local governments may conduct the assessment work and seek reimbursement of expenses if the work was pre-approved by the Branch. 

The Branch also manages the Bernard Allen Memorial Drinking Water Fund. This Fund is used to sample potentially contaminated private residential wells and to provide alternate drinking water to lower-income homeowners with affected wells.  More information can be found on the Bernard Allen Legislative Report.

The Registered Environmental Consultant Program is the Branch's program for privatized oversight of lower priority cases having parties wanting to voluntarily conduct contaminant assessment and remediation.  

To access additional information, guidance and forms click on the links below: