Code of the District of Columbia

§ 8–634.01. Response and order authority.

(a) Upon receipt of information of a threatened or actual release of a hazardous substance, the Mayor may:

(1) Take response action not inconsistent with the Hazardous Substances Response Plan that the Mayor considers necessary to protect the public health or welfare or the environment;

(2) Issue an administrative order to perform a response action that is not inconsistent with the Hazardous Substances Response Plan;

(3) Take action necessary to protect the public health or welfare or the environment from an imminent and substantial threat;

(4) Secure such relief as may be necessary to abate such danger or threat, and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia may grant such relief as the public interest and the equities of the case may require;

(5) Issue an emergency executive order pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 7 [§ 7-2301 et seq.], as may be necessary to protect the public health or welfare or the environment; and

(6) Issue an administrative order to enforce other provisions of this chapter.

(b) This chapter shall not prevent or impede an immediate response by the Mayor to a contamination or threat of contamination that presents imminent and substantial danger to the public.

(c) A federal, state, local, or District permit shall not be required for the portion of a response action conducted entirely onsite, if the response action is selected and carried out in compliance with this section.

(d) Any response action taken, ordered, or otherwise agreed to by the Mayor shall:

(1) Be protective of public health and welfare and the environment; and

(2) Attain a level of cleanup or control that attains legally applicable or relevant and appropriate standards, requirements, criteria, or limitations.

(e) Response actions in which treatment permanently and significantly reduces the volume, toxicity, or mobility of hazardous substances shall be preferred over response actions not involving such treatment.

(f) The Mayor may select a remedial action meeting the requirements of subsection (d) of this section that does not attain a level or standard of control at least the level or equivalent to a legally applicable or relevant and appropriate standard requirement if:

(1) The response action selected is only part of a total response action that will attain the level or standard when complete;

(2) Compliance with the requirement will result in greater risk to human health and the environment than alternative options;

(3) Compliance with the requirement is technically impracticable from an engineering perspective; or

(4) The response action selected will attain a standard of performance that is equivalent to that required under the otherwise applicable standard, requirement, or limitation, through use of another method or approach.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 401, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(i), 58 DCR 996.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-634.05, § 8-634.06, and § 8-636.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369 rewrote the section, which formerly read:

“Within one year of June 13, 2001, the Mayor shall develop and publish in the District of Columbia Register, a comprehensive hazardous substances response plan which shall include policies and procedures for responding to, and evaluating hazardous substance releases that may threaten public health and the environment. The response plan shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(i) of Brownfield Revitalization Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-667, December 28, 2010, 58 DCR 95).