DEQ’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) was created in 1996 by the Idaho Land Remediation Act (Idaho Code § 39-72) to encourage innovation and cooperation between the state, local communities, and private parties to revitalize properties with hazardous substance or petroleum contamination. The “Idaho Land Remediation Rules” (IDAPA 58.01.18) identify implementation procedures for the program.
The Idaho Land Remediation Act was amended in 2005 to incorporate the Community Reinvestment Pilot Initiative, a state-funded program to assist with cleanup costs of up to 10 properties where development is complicated by contamination issues. Currently, all slots are filled and no new ones are being accepted.
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Any legal entity is eligible to apply to participate in the program, including individuals, associations, local, state, and federal governments, and public or private corporations.
Applicants must submit a form providing information about site ownership, location, and history, and a $250 application fee.
If DEQ determines the site and applicant are eligible, the applicant then enters into a VCP agreement with DEQ, pays an initial $2,500 deposit for DEQ’s oversight costs, and develops a Voluntary Remediation Work Plan. This cleanup plan is reviewed by DEQ and made available for public comment. After comments are resolved, the work plan is approved for implementation. DEQ provides oversight and assistance throughout the cleanup process.
After cleanup is completed, the participant submits a Voluntary Remediation Work Plan Completion Report to DEQ, and DEQ issues a Certificate of Completion upon approval. The participant may request a Covenant Not to Sue from DEQ. All documents are recorded with the deed to the property.
- Expedited remediation process
- Avoid adversarial enforcement actions
- Covenant Not to Sue from DEQ
- Use of site-specific risk-based cleanup standards
- Use of activity and limitations and environmental covenants in cleanup plans
- Lender liability protection
Sometimes redevelopment and reuse of a property may be complicated if the property is being transferred or its environmental status is uncertain and assurances from DEQ regarding this status are desired or required. In these instances, participating in the VCP to conduct additional assessment activities under the oversight of DEQ may clarify this uncertainty along with a determination as to whether any remedial action is needed.