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Industrial Cleanup (IC) Program

OVERVIEW:  

This program oversees the voluntary cleanup of contaminated property.  

A Responsible Party (RP) for a release site may request OCHealth’s Environment Health oversight of a site investigation and any remediation necessary to mitigate the site, under Sections 101480 through 101490 of the Health and Safety Code (H&SC).  

Oversight activities include review of required site assessment and remediation work plans, review of required sampling operations, analysis of sampling data, and establishment of site cleanup criteria. The RP can initiate oversight by submitting a written request. The RP must agree to be assessed an hourly service fee ; the current rate can be found at: https://www.ochealthinfo.com/sites/hca/files/2021-07/2021_Eh_Fees_for_Website_Hazmat_0.pdf. There is a 25% late payment fee for the actual time Environmental Health Division (EHD) staff expend in project administration and oversight of the release site. Billings are sent quarterly and are due within 30 calendar days of receipt of the invoice. 

Once the signed agreement is received, this office is required to provide a 30-day notification to the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and applicable Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) to determine if these agencies have regulatory involvement with the site. If no concerns are raised by the State agencies, an EHD representative will oversee the remediation of your site. 

All records associated with assessment and cleanup must be submitted via hard copy to EHD and must be uploaded to GeoTracker in accordance with Chapter 30 (commencing with Section 3890) of Division 3 of Title 23 of, and Subdivision 2 of Division 3 of Title 27 of, the California Code of Regulations. 

After determining that the RP has completed the site assessment and remedial actions and that a permanent remedy for the release of the waste has been achieved, and pursuant to H&SC Section 101480, EHD will conduct a 30-day public notification of the pending closure. Provided no significant response is received during the notification process, EHD will provide the RP with a letter describing the remedial actions taken to mitigate the effects of the release and certify that cleanup goals were accomplished. 

The RP would undertake the following activities to identify the type and extent of the contamination caused by a released waste, initiate appropriate remedial action, and confirm that the remedial action has successfully mitigated the harmful effects of the release. 

 

HOW THE CLEANUP PROCESS WORKS:  

1. Submit a Site Assessment Work Plan: 

The site assessment work plan must include: 

  • the lateral and vertical extent of contamination in all impacted media 
  • the depth to groundwater 
  • soil profile data 
  • release site history 
  • proposed number, location, and depth of soil borings/probes and soil samples 
  • proposed number, location, and depth of sub-slab and/or soil vapor probes and vapor samples 
  • number, location, and construction details of proposed groundwater monitoring wells/probes and water samples 
  • sampling methodology for all media 
  • laboratory analysis methods 
  • a health and safety plan where investigation activities could pose a threat to public health. 

This work plan can be implemented immediately after concurrence by EHD. 

Well permits (see Water Quality) must be obtained prior to beginning exploratory borings and construction of wells. EHD can assist in the identification of the appropriate agencies. All borings and abandoned wells must be properly sealed. Wells should be secured to prevent unauthorized access. Drilling procedures and well design and construction must be accomplished in a manner that prevents the spread of contamination, and should be developed by an appropriate registered professional (P.G., C.E.G. or equivalent) with expertise in subsurface investigations. Reports that include logs of soil borings or any findings or conclusions relating to the subsurface must be signed by a properly registered professional (P.G., C.E.G. or equivalent).

2. Submit a Site Assessment Report and a Remedial Action Plan: 

After completion of the site investigation, a site assessment report must be submitted for review and concurrence. This report outlines the findings of the site assessment. 

EHD staff will evaluate site contaminant data provided by the site investigation and provide site cleanup goals considered protective of public health. This risk assessment evaluation includes the identification of potential exposure pathways (e.g., water, air, food, and direct contact) and quantitative prediction of exposure levels at human receptors. The RP may want to employ qualified risk assessors to propose alternate cleanup goals based on alternate modeling. If complex modeling scenarios are provided, EHD may consult with DTSC or the Office of Human Health Hazard Assessment for concurrence of the proposed evaluation methodology. Costs for services provided by outside agencies will be invoiced to the RP.  Post remedial monitoring will determine if the remedial action has been adequate. 

Once EHD determines that site assessment is adequate, a remedial action plan, designed to mitigate the harmful effects of the release, will be requested. The remedial action plan may be included with the site assessment report; however, where EHD does not agree that the site assessment is complete or that the remedial action plan adequately addresses the site's remedial requirements, a revised site assessment report or a revised remedial action plan will be requested. 

Remediation proposals may include: 

  • No Action: It must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of EHD through a risk assessment process that the contamination, if left in place, will not present a potential public health, safety, or environmental hazard, or a potential threat to the beneficial use of groundwater. 

  • Reducing contamination to acceptable levels through in situ remediation: Any reasonable in situ remedial action will be considered; however, actions that may spread contamination (e.g., biostimulation, soil flushing, drawdown wells, etc.) may require additional site investigation and safeguards. Required permits must be obtained from appropriate agencies. The South Coast Air Quality Management District and the DTSC should be contacted by the RP to determine if permits are required for the treatment of contaminated soil. The local California RWQCB should be contacted regarding permit requirements for discharging treated or untreated groundwater. 

  • Reducing contamination to acceptable levels through removal of contaminated soil: At the end of excavation operations, sampling of the Release Site must be conducted under this Agency's supervision for the purpose of verifying post-remedial contaminant concentrations. 

3. Implement Remedial Action and Verify Its Effectiveness: 

After review and concurrence by EHD, the remedial action plan can be implemented. Once the remedial action plan has been fully implemented, remediation completion will be determined by site sampling overseen by EHD staff. A post-remedial sampling plan and laboratory analysis plan must be submitted to this office. After plan approval, verification sampling can be initiated. A minimum 48-hour (2 weekdays) notice of the planned sampling date is required to ensure that EHD staff will be able to be present. 

EHD may, with adequate notice, withdraw from an agreement in whole or part after making one of the following findings: 

  • The RP is not in compliance with the Remedial Action Agreement. 
  • Appropriate staff resources, technical expertise, or technical capabilities are not available to adequately supervise the remedial action. 
  • The release is determined to be of a sufficiently complex nature or to present such a significant potential hazard to human health or the environment that it should be referred to the DTSC or a California RWQCB. 

The RP may withdraw from an agreement before its completion without penalty. However, EHD will, if it is believed that remaining contamination represents a threat to human health, the environment, or groundwater resources, refer an uncompleted cleanup case to the appropriate State agency for its review. A State agency may issue a separate order for assessment or remediation of the hazardous waste or hazardous material release. 

For further information regarding the program, please contact Geniece Higgins, at 714-433-6260 or ghiggins@ochca.com