NAIOPWA Advocacy Update: Expedited Voluntary Cleanup Program

During the 2019 legislative session, NAIOP partnered with the Washington Department Of Ecology to develop and pass legislation creating an expedited Voluntary Cleanup Program option.  Ecology will launch its new Expedited Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) on July 1, 2020.  The new Expedited VCP is a self-sustaining process with dedicated staff to respond quickly to the needs of developers working under compressed schedules.  The time to get through the expedited VCP could be as short as 4 months compared to 18 months (or more) under the regular VCP.  NAIOP is proud to have worked with Ecology to help develop the expedited process, which should be a huge benefit to our members.

The new program will only accept sites where the site characterization is already completed and a $3,000 nonrefundable application review fee is paid in advance. The process includes (and recommends) an informal VCP Consultation to assist with the determination that your site meets the requirements for the program and for help with the application process.

Ecology has 10 days to review the application once the fee is paid.  The nonrefundable application fee covers Ecology’s review of the Remedial Investigation (RI) report against the RI checklist.  If the site is accepted into the program, the Expedited VCP customer must submit an initial deposit within 30 days of application acceptance to start the process.  Ecology will review the deposit levels for each Expedited VCP project monthly and when the deposit level approaches the $5,000 threshold, Ecology will request a subsequent deposit. 

Ecology will issue an initial RI Opinion within 90 days from application acceptance, with future opinions 90 days from the completed request(s). When Ecology issues a No Further Action (NFA) determination, a Close Out Fee of $1,500 will apply.  Alternatively, a Close Out and Maintenance Fee of $9,000 will apply for VCP projects where the NFA requires periodic reviews of post-cleanup conditions, such as maintenance of institutional or engineered controls.

For qualifying independent cleanups, the Expedited VCP process will:  

  • Provide a dedicated VCP cleanup project manager to advise and assist customers on MTCA’s administrative and technical requirements,
  • Provide prompt written opinions on whether proposed or completed remedial actions meet MTCA requirements, or if further steps are necessary,
  • Continue to encourage the use of model cleanup remedies, where appropriate,

The Expedited VCP process funds itself with fees based on the actual costs Ecology incurs for providing expedited advice and assistance. Sites that provide for affordable housing may qualify for a waiver of administrative fees.

More details can be found on the DOE fact sheet and Expedited VCP Powerpoint

For future information, please sign up on the Expedited VCP mail list.

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