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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 160. Voluntary Remediation Regulations
10/22/2020

9VAC20-160-110. Certification of Satisfactory Completion of Remediation.

A. The department shall issue a certificate when:

1. The participant has demonstrated that migration of contamination has been stabilized;

2. The participant has demonstrated that the site has met the applicable remediation levels and will continue to meet the applicable remediation levels in the future for both onsite and offsite receptors;

3. All provisions of the final remedial action plan as applicable have been completed;

4. All applicable requirements of this chapter have been completed;

5. The department accepts all work submitted, as set forth in 9VAC20-160-70; and

6. All registration fees due to the department pursuant to 9VAC20-160-55, 9VAC20-160-60, and 9VAC20-160-65 have been received by the department.

B. The issuance of the certificate shall constitute immunity to an enforcement action under the Virginia Waste Management Act (§ 10.1-1400 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), the Virginia State Water Control Law (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law (§ 10.1-1300 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), or other applicable Virginia law for the releases described in the certificate.

C. A site shall be deemed to have met the requirements for unrestricted use if the remediation levels, based on either background or standard residential exposure factors, have been attained throughout the site and in all media. Attainment of these levels will allow the site to be given an unrestricted use classification. No remediation techniques or land use controls that require ongoing management may be employed to achieve this classification.

D. For sites that do not achieve the unrestricted use classification, land use controls may be proffered in order to develop remediation levels based on restricted use. The restrictions imposed upon a site may be media-specific, may vary according to site-specific conditions, and may be applied to limit present and future use. All controls necessary to attain the restricted use classification shall be described in the certificate as provided in this section and defined in a declaration of restrictive covenants. Land use controls accepted by the department for use at the site are considered remediation for the purposes of this chapter.

E. If a use restriction is specified in the certificate, the participant shall cause the certificate and a declaration of restrictive covenants to be recorded among the land records in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the jurisdiction in which the site is located within 90 days of execution of the certificate by the department, unless a longer period is specified in the certificate. If the certificate does not include any use restriction, recordation of the certificate is at the option of the participant. The immunity accorded by the certificate shall apply to the participant and current or future property owner and shall run with the land identified as the site.

F. The immunity granted by issuance of the certificate shall be limited to the known releases as described in the certificate. The immunity is further conditioned upon satisfactory performance by the participant of all obligations required by the department under the program and upon the veracity, accuracy, and completeness of the information submitted to the department by the participant relating to the site. Specific limitations of the certificate shall be enumerated in the certificate. The immunity granted by the certificate shall be dependent upon the identification of the nature and extent of contamination as presented in the Voluntary Remediation Report.

G. The certificate shall specify the conditions for which immunity is being accorded, including:

1. A summary of the information that was considered;

2. Any restrictions on future use;

3. Any local land use controls on surrounding properties that were taken into account;

4. Any proffered land use controls; and

5. Any post-certificate monitoring.

H. The certificate may be revoked by the department in any of the following situations, provided that (i) the department has given the owner written notice of the deficiency and (ii) the owner has failed to cure the deficiency within 60 days of the date of the written notice or some longer period granted by the department.

1. In the event that conditions at the site, unknown at the time of issuance of the certificate, pose a risk to human health or the environment;

2. In the event that the certificate was based on information that was false, inaccurate, or misleading; or

3. In the event that the conditions of the certificate have not been met or maintained.

I. The certificate is not and shall not be interpreted to be a permit or a modification of an existing permit or administrative order issued pursuant to state law, nor shall it in any way relieve the participant of its obligation to comply with any other federal or state law, regulation, or administrative order. Any new permit or administrative order, or modification of an existing permit or administrative order, must be accomplished in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

J. The issuance of the certificate shall not preclude the department from taking any action authorized by law for failure to meet a requirement of the program or for liability arising from future activities at the site that result in the release of contaminants.

K. The issuance of the certificate by the department shall not constitute a waiver of the Commonwealth's sovereign immunity unless otherwise provided by law.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1232 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 13, Issue 18, eff. June 26, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 2002; Volume 30, Issue 09, eff. January 29, 2014; Volume 30, Issue 24, eff. July 1, 2014; Volume 36, Issue 05, eff. December 12, 2019.

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