Waste Programs Division
Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP)
To address the threat of contamination, it’s important to accelerate cleanups. ADEQ’s Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) encourages property owners and other interested parties to invest resources voluntarily in recovering contaminated sites as quickly as possible to healthful standards. In return for such willing cooperation, ADEQ foregoes enforcement activity at the site.
The program expedites the remedial actions review and excuses the need for further action at the site so long as remediation levels and controls meet statutory requirements. Such a determination can often influence the ability of property owners and others to return contaminated sites to economic viability, which further benefits Arizona communities.
Most sites are eligible to participate in the VRP, although there are some exceptions. For example, sites listed on the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) registry with the same contaminants of concern (COCs) are ineligible, as are hazardous waste sites and underground storage tank sites undergoing certain corrective actions required by ADEQ, a court of law or an administrative order.
It’s best that applicants have performed few, if any, significant remedial activities at the site prior to entering the program. This allows the project manager assigned by ADEQ to help find the best remediation solutions, both in terms of time and cost. Though, even fully remediated sites entering the program for final closure review are accepted with the understanding that ADEQ may require additional work if the statutory requirements have not been sufficiently met.
Fees and costs for VRP services are governed by the Interim Fee Rule, under 1A.A.C. Title 18, Chapter 7, Article 5, approved February 9, 2001. A $2,000 non-refundable application fee covers the internal ADEQ review to determine site eligibility for VRP.
If the site is accepted, any remaining amount of the $2,000 application fee is automatically applied to oversight costs. Upon acceptance, the volunteer is required to pay a $4,000 deposit, similar to a retainer charged by an attorney. VRP personnel bill at $110 per hour for any work related to the site and those hours are deducted from the site account. Volunteers with active sites receive quarterly account summaries, and if the site account balance falls below $1,000, staff notifies them an additional $4,000 deposit is required. Once remedial activities are completed and the site is closed, any remaining balance in the site account is refunded to the volunteer.