The Inactive Hazardous Sites Branch will work with any party to assess and remediate a contaminated site. Due to the number of sites and very limited staff resources, the Branch was authorized by the General Assembly to privatize its oversight role at lower priority site voluntary remedial actions. Sites deemed to be the most severe public health threats or concerns receive direct oversight by state staff.
The privatized portion of the cleanup program is called the Registered Environmental Consultant, or REC Program. Under this program a responsible party hires an REC to both conduct, and to certify the regulatory compliance of, a site’s assessment and cleanup. In order for a firm to qualify as an REC, it must demonstrate it meets certain regulatory qualifications criteria. The REC certification replaces state oversight. The state audits a portion of the REC projects to ensure the integrity of the program and sanctions RECs where necessary.
Parties approaching the Branch about conducting a cleanup must complete a Site Cleanup Questionnaire to determine what, if any, exposure concerns are known to be present. In general, sites with less public concern, where contaminant exposure to the general public can be controlled, and where sensitive environments are not affected are placed in the Branch's REC Program for oversight. Having one of the conditions on the checklist does not necessarily preclude the site from being assigned to the REC Program.
Sites satisfactorily completing a remedial action are eligible for a No Further Action review.