Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP)

What is the purpose of this program?
Ecology's Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) facilitates independent cleanups of contaminated sites under the requirements of the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). The VCP provides technical assistance to people cleaning up sites independently, without Ecology oversight. Successful cleanups completed through the VCP receive a no further action opinion, which can be helpful when selling a property or applying for a property loan.

Cleaning up sites independently, with or without VCP technical assistance, does not commit people to liability for a site cleanup. A VCP customer signs an agreement to pay for Ecology's time spent providing technical assistance and evaluating the sufficiency of a cleanup. The VCP can provide up to two free reviews and opinions, after cleanup is completed for sites that qualify for a model remedy cleanup. A VCP customer can leave or re-apply to the VCP at any time for any reason.
Who issues this program?
Department of Ecology
What activities require this program?
The VCP is voluntary and is not required to conduct independent cleanup actions for a contaminated site.

People can apply to either the Standard VCP process or the Expedited VCP process. Both processes offer a free 1-hour technical consultation for people interested in applying to the VCP. These consultations may include:

• Technical assistance. VCP may provide technical assistance to people before and during a remedial investigation or cleanup of a contaminated site, including assisting with identifying and applying regulatory requirements.

•Informal opinions. VCP may provide informal, written opinions on whether a planned or completed site investigation or cleanup complies with applicable regulatory requirements. VCP may issue a no further action opinion for a contaminated site, after a successful cleanup.
How much will this program cost?
Applying for the Standard VCP process Standard VCP has no cost. If accepted, Standard VCP customers pay only a portion of Ecology’s costs for document review and technical assistance. Applying to the Expedited VCP Expedited VCP process requires a nonrefundable application fee of $3,000. If accepted, Expedited VCP customers must also submit an initial prepayment of $20,000 within 30 calendar days of Ecology’s initial invoice date. Ecology bills monthly with hourly charges deducted from the prepayment account. Ecology reserves a portion of the prepayment for the final closeout fee, which is deducted when the agreement ends. Expedited VCP rates are shown in the Expedited VCP process guidance Expedited VCP.
Where can I get the application for this program?
The application is called 'VCP Application' is online and can be accessed at https://ecology.wa.gov/Spills-Cleanup/Contamination-cleanup/Cleanup-process/Cleanup-options/Voluntary-cleanup-program.
Do I need to include anything with my application?
Please visit the Applying to the Voluntary Cleanup Program web page Voluntary Cleanup Program on Ecology’s web site for details about what you need to include with your Standard or Expedited Application.
Is the decision on my program dependent on anything besides the information in my application?
In deciding whether to accept an application, Ecology considers:

• Information provided in the application.
• Applicable laws and regulations.
• Information about the site background and environmental conditions.

Ecology may also rely on information shared during a technical consultation and other site-specific information.
How long will it take to review my application?
Ecology’s goal is to accept or reject a Standard VCP application within 10 calendar days of receiving a complete application.

Ecology will accept or reject an Expedited VCP application within 10 calendar days of receiving the nonrefundable application fee.
Where do I submit my application?
Please see the Applying to the Voluntary Cleanup Program webpage for instructions.
How long is my program valid?
Agreements under the VCP are valid until terminated by either Ecology or the customer. Either party may terminate a VCP agreement without cause by emailing or mailing by U.S. post a written notice to the other party. The effective date of termination shall be the date Ecology sends written notice to the applicant or the date Ecology receives written notice from the applicant, whichever occurs first.
What is the appeal process for the program?
• Appeal of application rejection to join the VCP: There is no process to challenge a decision by Ecology to reject a VCP application, nor is Ecology required to provide those services. However, an applicant can resubmit an application and include additional information.

• Appeal of VCP written opinion: There is no process to challenge a written opinion issued by Ecology, nor is Ecology required to provide those services. However, a customer may submit additional information to Ecology and request another advisory opinion.
Notes / Comments:
The Voluntary Cleanup Program Application form is used to apply to either the Standard VCP process or the Expedited VCP process. Visit the Voluntary Cleanup Program webpage Voluntary Cleanup Program Application for updates and more information.
Legal Authority:
Department of Ecology
Toxics Cleanup Program
VCP Coordinator
Website: https://ecology.wa.gov/VCP
Telephone: (360) 407-7170
Fax: (360) 407-7154
Triggering Questions:
  • Are you cleaning up a hazardous waste site and requesting consultative services from Ecology on independent remedial actions?
* Permit information last updated 11/15/2022