Voluntary Cleanup Program
DEQ's Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) was created in 1996 by the Idaho Land Remediation Act (Idaho Code §39-72) to encourage innovation and cooperation between the state, local communities, and private parties to revitalize properties with hazardous substance or petroleum contamination. The Idaho Land Remediation Rules (IDAPA 58.01.18), adopted in 1997, detail implementation procedures for the program.
The Idaho Land Remediation Act was modified in 2005 to incorporate the Community Reinvestment Pilot Initiative, a state-funded program to assist with cleanup costs of up to 10 properties whose development is complicated by contamination issues. Currently, all 10 slots in the pilot program are filled and no new applications for participation in the pilot initiative are being accepted.
How the VCP Works
Any legal entity recognized by law is eligible to apply to participate in the program, including individuals; associations; local, state, and federal governments; and public or private corporations.
The applicant submits an application form providing information about the site ownership, location, and history, and a $250 application fee to DEQ.
In addition, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report conforming to ASTM Standard Practice 1527: Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process and identifying recognized environmental conditions must be submitted with the application.
If DEQ determines the site and applicant are eligible, the applicant then enters into a VCP Agreement with DEQ, pays an initial $2,500 deposit for DEQ's oversight costs, and develops a cleanup plan, called a Voluntary Remediation Work Plan. This work plan is reviewed by DEQ and made available for public comment. After any comments are satisfactorily resolved, the work plan is approved for implementation. DEQ provides oversight and assistance throughout the cleanup process.
After the cleanup is completed, the participant submits a Voluntary Remediation Work Plan Completion Report to DEQ, and DEQ issues a Certificate of Completion upon approval. At that point, the participant may request a Covenant Not to Sue from DEQ. These documents are recorded with the deed to the property.
Benefits of Participating in the VCP
- Expedited remediation process
- Avoid adversarial enforcement actions
- Seven-year partial property tax exemption upon completion of cleanup
- Covenant Not to Sue from DEQ
- Use of site-specific risk-based cleanup standards
- Use of activity and limitations and environmental convenants in cleanup plans
- Lender liability protection
Sometimes redevelopment and reuse of a property may be complicated if the property is being transferred or its environmental status is uncertain and assurances from DEQ regarding this status are desired or required. In these instances, participating in the VCP to conduct additional assessment activities under the oversight of DEQ may clarify this uncertainty along with a determination as to whether any remedial action is needed.
Persons considering or working on a project where environmental concerns potentially complicate the transfer and reuse and revitalization of a property or properties, are encouraged to contact DEQ to discuss the project and benefits of participating in the VCP. Cleanup funding options are described more fully on the Brownfields page.
Participants and Site Status
- DEQ Voluntary Cleanup Program Sites (Updated October 2019)