The Removal Program includes removal site evaluations and removal actions.
A removal site evaluation occurs when a site is being considered or evaluated for the potential of having hazardous substance(s). A removal evaluation includes an assessment of different types of supporting data. This data may include field monitoring, sampling, and laboratory analysis of environmental media (i.e. water, sediment, soil, air), or direct observation or measurement. The data is then used to evaluate the potential risks and/or impacts the hazardous substance(s) poses to human health and the environment.
A removal action is the cleanup or removal of hazardous substances at a site. Removal actions include:
- Actions taken in the event of a release or threatened release of hazardous substances in the environment
- Actions taken to monitor, assess, and evaluate the release or threatened release of hazardous substances
- Disposal of removed material
- Other actions taken to prevent, minimize, or mitigate damage to the public health or welfare or to the environment.
Removals are classified as either emergency, time-critical, or non-time-critical depending on the extent and type of contamination. Removal actions typically occur at sites that are not on the NPL, but can be used as a cleanup mechanism on National Priorities List (NPL) sites where a removal action is helpful in achieving improved cleanup timeframes and/or where the removal action will result in a less costly or invasive remedy.
Removal site evaluations and removal actions are managed by U.S. EPA On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs). WVDEP supports the U.S. EPA on removal sites where requested. As both a support function to U.S. EPA and a primary duty to the people of West Virginia, WVDEP conducts the following with regard to removal sites:
- Ensures compliance with applicable state laws and regulations
- Provides oversight of data and data collection activities in order to ensure compliance with acceptable and defensible data collection practices
- Represents state interests and acts as a liaison between the U.S. EPA and the citizens of West Virginia, local officials, community representatives, property owners, industry, and nonprofit organizations