The Office of Environmental Remediation is part of the Division of Land Restoration. The mission of the Office of Environmental Remediation is to provide for clean, safe, and productive West Virginia communities by assessing and remediating environmental resources and restoring contaminated properties to beneficial use.
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Environmental Remediation
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Phone: (304) 926-0499
The Office of Environmental Remediation administers the following programs:
Brownfields Assistance Program
The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Program empowers communities, developers, and stakeholders to assess, cleanup, and sustainably reuse brownfields. WVDEP can provide free guidance and technical assistance throughout the brownfield redevelopment process.
Licensed Remediation Specialist Program
Remediation of sites in the Voluntary Remediation Program and UECA-LUST Program must be supervised by a Licensed Remediation Specialist (LRS). An LRS is an individual certified by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection as qualified to supervise the assessment and remediation of contaminated sites. Licensed Remediation Specialists must meet minimum education and experience requirements, pass an examination administered by WVDEP, and obtain continuing education.
The Uniform Environmental Covenants Act-Leaking Underground Storage Tank (UECA-LUST) Program is an alternative remediation option for releases from underground storage tanks (USTs).
Voluntary Remediation Program
The West Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) was established in 1996 through the Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Act (W. Va. Code § 22-22), to encourage voluntary cleanup and redevelopment of abandoned or under-utilized contaminated properties by providing certain environmental liability protections under West Virginia law.
The Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Rule (W. Va. Legislative Rule 60CSR3) describes the administrative process for this program. The VRP is a structured and predictable—yet flexible—mechanism to achieve compliance with applicable state and federal environmental requirements.
The Office of Environmental Remediation administers the VRP. Licensed Remediation Specialists (LRS), licensed by WVDEP and hired by program applicants, supervise all remediation activities and prepare required reports for OER’s approval.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980, and amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) on October 17, 1986. This law provides federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.
Learn more about the Superfund process...
Federal Facilities Restoration Program
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) works in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to oversee and assist the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in the investigation and cleanup of active, closing, and formerly used military installations at which hazardous substances and/or petroleum products were used, stored, or disposed of during past operations, as well as military munitions response sites known or suspected to contain unexploded ordnance, discarded military munitions, or munitions constituents.
The Pre-Remedial Program includes sites that have been evaluated using the U.S. EPA Pre-CERCLA screening (PCS) process and have been deemed candidates for further assessment. Using this process, WVDEP, in coordination with U.S. EPA Assessment Branch staff identifies and prioritizes sites that need to be assessed for threats to human health and the environment. These sites are subsequently evaluated using the site assessment process, which involves performing a preliminary assessment (PA) and/or a site inspection (SI) on the site. WVDEP has a cooperative agreement to fund and manage the execution of site assessment work on site assessment sites in West Virginia. Each site assessment is performed by collecting and generating the requisite data and information needed to utilize the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) to establish a site score. An HRS score of 28.5 or above is eligible for listing on the National Priorities List (NPL)—and subsequent remedial action if all other requirements are met.
Remedial (NPL Sites) Program
The National Priorities List (NPL) is the list of sites of national priority among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation. Sites are listed on the NPL upon completion of assessment through the Pre-Remedial Program screening, public solicitation of comments about the proposed site, and obtainment of state support for the listing. States are required to pay a minimum of 10% of the cleanup costs and assume operations and maintenance responsibilities once the site is remediated or the remedy is stable and has been demonstrated effective for ten (10) years.
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.