News and Updates

VRP De Minimis Standards Update

The Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Rule (60CSR3) (VRP Rule) contains provisions for the Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) to develop and update the De Minimis Standards as necessary. These De Minimis Standards represent risk-based concentrations of contaminants in soil and groundwater to which humans (i.e., residents and commercial workers) can be exposed without negative health impacts. Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) applicants and Licensed Remediation Specialists (LRSs) use these values to screen their sites for any potential contamination that may require remedial actions.

The science behind the De Minimis Standards is updated at least twice a year for several contaminants, based upon USEPA review of new studies. In the past, when the De Minimis Standards would be updated through the WV Legislative approval process, the De Minimis Standards would already be out of date by at least four rounds of scientific updates due to the time lag of the legislative approval process.

In order to expedite the process of updating the De Minimis Standards with the current science, OER proposed removing the De Minimis Standards from the VRP Rule and then placing the De Minimis Standards into a new Interpretive Rule (60CSR9), thereby reducing the lengthy process of updating the De Minimis Standards. Simultaneously, OER updated the VRP Rule to make the process more prescriptive and transparent by detailing the process and sources of data for updating the De Minimis Standards. The WV Legislature approved the changes in May 2021, and OER began the process of updating the De Minimis Standards when the changes became effective June 1, 2021. The process of updating the Standards includes submitting draft updates to a third party for review of the calculations, a public comment period on the Interpretive Rule, and the issuance of an Order by the WVDEP Cabinet Secretary, which includes an additional public comment period. This process was completed on November 28, 2021, and the newly updated De Minimis Standards are now in effect. The updated Standards can be found on the OER Technical Guidance and Templates webpage and will also be included in the forthcoming update to the VRP Guidance Manual in Spring 2022.

By utilizing the Interpretive Rule process, OER will be able to update the De Minimis Standards in a more timely manner and keep the Standards scientifically current. OER plans to review the De Minimis Standards on an annual basis and update them when appropriate. This annual review and update process will reduce the amount of significant changes that have occurred every 4-5 years from past updates to the De Minimis Standards by only changing the Standards for a few chemicals at a time. OER will not update the De Minimis Standards in a year that only has minor changes to the science of chemicals that are not primary risk drivers at VRP sites. OER will wait to implement such changes when there are more significant changes to be made, such as changing the toxicity values of chemicals that are important risk drivers, or adding on emerging pollutants that need to be addressed through VRP. Thus, it is likely that the De Minimis Standards will not be updated every year.

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Contact Us

If you have any questions about the development of the De Minimis Standards or how to use them, please contact the OER Environmental Toxicologist.

Dr. Ross Brittain, Environmental Toxicologist
WVDEP Office of Environmental Remediation
2031 Pleasant Valley Road
Fairmont, WV 26554
Phone: (304) 926-0499 x30202
Email: Ross.A.Brittain@wv.gov


Low Interest Loans Available from OER for Brownfields Cleanup

The Office of Environmental Remediation is offering low-interest loans to eligible local governments, nonprofits, and private sector businesses to clean up properties contaminated with petroleum or hazardous substances. The loan fund was capitalized by an $820,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Brownfields Revolving Fund is designed to fill redevelopment funding gaps and provide incentives to clean up brownfield sites with favorable borrowing and repayment terms. Repayment terms of up to 10 years can be negotiated. Borrowers in the BRF Program are required to contribute 20% of the total loan amount toward the cleanup effort, though the match amount can be met through in-kind labor, material, or services. Borrowers also must enroll the site in the WV Voluntary Remediation Program to complete the cleanup work, unless the remediation is limited to asbestos or lead-based paint abatement.

Funds under the loan program can be used to perform a broad range of cleanup activities that include excavating and removing contaminants, treating contaminated soil and groundwater, demolishing contaminated structures, managing storm water run-off, and installing security measures to prevent trespassing. Funds can also be used to pay environmental consultants who oversee and certify the cleanup, and fees for WVDEP review and approval of the work. Funds cannot be used to perform environmental site assessments, such as Phase I or Phase II ESAs, prior to cleanup.

Interested parties should visit the Brownfields Revolving Fund webpage to download information or contact OER through email at DEPBrownfieldsRevolvingFund@wv.gov. Eligible borrowers will need to complete a loan application to demonstrate their ability to repay the loan and to provide the necessary collateral.


Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Rule (60CSR3) Update

The Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Rule (Rule) 60CSR3 has been updated and will go into effect on June 1, 2021. There are two substantial changes to the revised Rule:

  1. Section 9.9.g.2. - Regarding groundwater monitoring to demonstrate natural attenuation, the Rule has been revised to allow for the collection of a minimum of eight samples collected no more frequently than quarterly and with no more than fifty percent collected during the same season.

    The Rule previously required groundwater monitoring to occur semi-annually for at least four years. The revised language offers more flexibility to collect groundwater data (quarterly, semi-annually, annually, etc.) and could also demonstrate natural attenuation in two years rather than the previously required four years (at a minimum).

  2. Section 9.2.d. and Table 60-3B – Section 9.2.d. is newly inserted language regarding the De Minimis Standards Table (formerly Table 60-3B). The De Minimis Standards Table will now be located in the VRP Guidance Manual. By removing the De Minimis Table from the Rule, WVDEP will now be able to update the De Minimis Standards to reflect current toxicity information, chemical-specific data, and exposure parameters via the interpretative rule process rather than submitting the entire Rule through the WV Legislature, which is a lengthy, multi-year process.

    OER has finalized a Standard Operating Procedure for an annual review of the De Minimis Standards with a specific timeline established. The annual review will commence in May each year, with two 30-day public comment periods in September and December, and by February 15th each year, WVDEP will finalize the De Minimis Standards, placing the updated De Minimis Standards Table on WVDEP’s website and in the VRP Guidance Manual.

Documents

The revised Rule is available from the WV SOS website with an effective date of June 1, 2021.


Recently Completed Remediation Projects

Beech Bottom Industrial Park

The Beech Bottom Industrial Park project (VRP #17008) in Brooke County, WV, received its final Certificate of Completion in January 2020
The Beech Bottom Industrial Park project (VRP #17008) in Brooke County, WV, received its final Certificate of Completion in January 2020. *Image sourced from VTS.com

2021 Voluntary Remediation Program Certificates of Completion

  1. Brooke Glass Site, Wellsburg, Brooke County
  2. Ryder Truck, Dunbar, Kanawha County
  3. Grace Chapel Road Remediation and Development, Kingwood, Preston County
  4. Town of Bath Rails to Trails - Parcel 1B and Parcel 3, Berkeley Springs, Morgan County
  5. CSXT Mt. Carbon Derailment, Mount Carbon, Fayette County
  6. Shell Brooksville Station, Big Bend, Calhoun County
  7. DOH Former Tyler County HQ, Sistersville, Tyler County
  8. Bias Service Station Parcel 316 & 317, Milton, Cabell County
  9. Chevron Facility #163525, South Charleston, Kanawha County
  10. Former GE Service Center, Charleston, Kanawha County
  11. Shell MacFarlan, Macfarlan, Ritchie County
  12. McGuire Site - Chauncey, Omar, Logan County

Next Scheduled LRS Examination

Below are the details for the next scheduled Licensed Remediation Specialist Examination. The deadline for submitting the completed application and paymentfor this examination is March 9, 2022.

Date: March 23, 2022
Time: 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Location: Online

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