Voluntary Cleanup Program

DNREC’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) is available to all parties who may be liable for the contamination of a property, but who wish to settle their liabilities with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control under the Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act (HSCA).

Current owners of contaminated properties may volunteer to clean up the site before the department orders a cleanup under HSCA. This could result in a speedier and less costly cleanup.

Application and Agreement

Voluntary cleanup begins with an application to the DNREC Remediation Section. Applicants are required to give details of any past investigations conducted at their site. Based on the information provided, the Remediation Section will determine the eligibility of the site to be cleaned up under the Voluntary Cleanup Program.

If the site is determined to be eligible, applicants must sign a Voluntary Cleanup Program Agreement. The applicant agrees to allow the Remediation Section to oversee the investigation and cleanup of the site, and to pay the cost of that oversight. Typically, a deposit is required at the start of the project.

Applicants may end the agreement at any time during the investigation and cleanup (subject to certain conditions). Any remaining monies from the deposit will be returned at the end of the cleanup or at the time of termination of the agreement. DNREC may also end the agreement, if it determines that the applicant is not making a good-faith effort to cleanup the property.

All consultants performing work under the Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act (HSCA) must be certified by the Department. Only laboratories which have been approved by the Department through an audit process may perform analytical work at sites being investigated under HSCA, including the Voluntary Cleanup Program.

All the analytical work must be done in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures for Chemical Analytical Programs under HSCA (SOPCAP).