Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Voluntary Cleanup Program.


§ 8–633.01. Establishment.

(a) There is hereby established a Voluntary Cleanup Program (“Program”) within DDOE to encourage the private voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties. The DDOE shall administer the Program and shall be responsible for:

(1) Investigating brownfield and other properties with known or perceived contamination;

(2) Determining the eligibility for voluntary cleanups and brownfield redevelopment incentives;

(3) Protecting the public health and the environment where cleanups are being performed or need to be performed;

(4) Determining cleanup standards;

(5) The oversight of cleanup activities; and

(6) Determining the finality of the cleanup of contaminated properties.

(b) Upon request, the DDOE may assist a person in identifying contaminated properties or brownfields in the District and the available options and programs for their cleanup and redevelopment. The Mayor may assist in or provide supervision for the development and the implementation of reasonable and necessary cleanup or remedial actions. This assistance may include the review of agency records, files, investigation plans, and proposed cleanup plans.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 301, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(a), 58 DCR 996.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-631.02 and § 8-634.08.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369 substituted “DDOE” for “EHA” wherever it appeared.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–633.02. Eligibility and requirements.

(a) In order to participate in the program, a person shall submit, on a form to be provided by DDOE, the following:

(1) Repealed;

(2) Information which establishes that the property is an eligible property;

(3) A detailed report, with all available relevant information on the environmental conditions of the property, including information on contamination known to the applicant at the time of the application;

(4) An environmental assessment of the property including, the nature and location of all hazardous substances known by the applicant to be present on the contaminated property;

(5) A descriptive summary of a proposed cleanup action plan that conforms to DDOE cleanup standards; and

(6) Verifiable information regarding the identity of the true and legal owners of the eligible property.

(b)(1) DDOE shall approve or deny the application within 90 business days of its receipt. A request by DDOE for additional information shall toll the 90-day review period. The review period shall resume upon the receipt of the additional information.

(2) DDOE shall provide written notice to the applicant which states the reasons for denial of an application and shall recommend any corrective actions and the period within which the applicant may resubmit the application. If within the 90-day review period, DDOE does not deny or approve an application, or request additional information from the applicant, the applicant, within 10 days of a request, shall be entitled to a meeting with a designated DDOE official to inquire about the status of the application.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 302, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(a), (e), 58 DCR 996.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-632.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369 substituted “DDOE” for “EHA” throughout the section; and repealed subsec. (a)(1), which formerly read:

“(1) Information which establishes to the satisfaction of EHA, the status of the applicant as a responsible person or a non-responsible person;”.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–633.03. Cleanup action plan.

(a) The participant shall submit a cleanup action plan to DDOE, after the approval of an application to participate in the Program. The cleanup action plan shall be in accordance with DDOE cleanup standards and shall be approved or disapproved within 90 business days after its submission. Within that period DDOE shall consider any public comments received pursuant to this chapter and shall notify the participant of its determination.

(b) If the cleanup action is disapproved, DDOE shall include in the notice, the modifications in the cleanup action plan which are necessary to receive an approval. The participant may submit a revised or amended plan within 30 business days after the receipt of the letter of rejection, otherwise the plan shall be considered withdrawn pursuant to § 8-633.07. DDOE shall notify the participant whether the cleanup action plan has been approved, within 30 business days after the receipt of the resubmitted plan.

(c) The approval of a cleanup action plan shall mean that the program participant has granted DDOE an express right to access the eligible property for the purposes of inspecting and verifying the implementation of the cleanup action plan, once that plan has been approved.

(d) The approval of a cleanup action plan shall not:

(1) Prevent the District from taking action against any person to prevent or abate an imminent or substantial endangerment to the public or the environment at the eligible property;

(2) Remain in effect if the response action plan approval letter has been obtained by fraud or a material misrepresentation;

(3) Affect the District’s authority to take action against a responsible person concerning new contamination or the exacerbation of existing contamination at the eligible property after a cleanup action plan has been approved;

(4) Affect the District’s authority to take action against a responsible person concerning previously undiscovered contamination at an eligible property after a cleanup action plan has been approved;

(5) Prevent the District from taking action against any person who is responsible for long-term monitoring and maintenance as provided in the cleanup action plan; or

(6) Prevent the District from taking action against any person who does not comply with conditions on the permissible use of the eligible property contained in the cleanup action plan approval letter.

(e) If a participant fails to meet the schedule for implementation and completion of the cleanup action plan, DDOE may:

(1) Reach an agreement with the participant to revise the schedule of completion in the cleanup action plan; or

(2) Withdraw the approval of the cleanup action plan pursuant to § 8-633.07, if an agreement cannot be reached.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 303, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(a), 58 DCR 996.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-671.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369 substituted “DDOE” for “EHA” wherever it appeared.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–633.04. Fees, bonds, and other security of the cleanup action plan.

(a) The Mayor may require an applicant to pay a fee not to exceed $10,000 upon submission of an application to participate in the Program.

(b) A performance bond, in an amount to be determined by DDOE, as necessary to secure and stabilize the eligible property if the cleanup action plan is not implemented accordingly, shall be posted with DDOE before the participant may perform any cleanup action on the property. The obligation of the performance bond shall be void upon the issuance of a Certificate of Completion to the participant, or 16 months after the date of withdrawal if the participant withdraws from the Program. The obligation of the performance bond shall be due and payable upon notification by the DDOE that action must be taken to fulfill the withdrawal requirements of this chapter to stabilize the property.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 304, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(a), (f), 58 DCR 996.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369 substituted “DDOE” for “EHA” throughout the section; in the section heading, substituted “ ”security of the cleanup action plan“ for ”security“; and rewrote subsec. (a), which formerly read:

“(a) An applicant shall pay a $10,000 fee, upon submission of an application to participate in the Program.”

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–633.05. Cleanup standards.

(a) DDOE shall publish in the District of Columbia Register, within 180 business days of June 13, 2001, cleanup standards for contaminated properties. The cleanup standards shall be based on sound science and acceptable industry standards for the cleanup of contaminated properties to protect public health, welfare, and the environment and shall include the following:

(1) General numerical or performance standards, which describe the concentrations of hazardous substances in groundwater, surface water and soils that will allow a property to be used for any purpose;

(2) The procedures that DDOE shall use to establish and approve site or property-specific standard based on the assessments of health and environmental risks at a property. The standards may rely on engineering or institutional controls protective of public health, welfare and the environment. DDOE may designate and publish the particular engineering controls it deems as protective of public health, welfare and the environment in specified circumstances; and may designate the circumstances as containing presumptive remedies, taking into account the type of hazardous substances on the contaminated property and the proposed use of the property. Applicants claiming presumptive remedies shall not be required to conduct a risk assessment prior to the approval of a cleanup action plan.

(b) Until the cleanup standards required by subsection (a) of this section are adopted, the following guidelines shall apply to voluntary cleanup actions:

(1) The maximum contaminant levels established pursuant to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, approved December 16, 1974 (88 Stat. 1660; 42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq.) shall be the cleanup standard for groundwater;

(2) The cleanup standards established by DDOE based on the District’s environmental policy, law, or regulations in effect prior to June 13, 2001, shall apply to hazardous substances in any other media apart from groundwater; and

(3) For hazardous substances in any media apart from groundwater, for which interim cleaning standards cannot be determined pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, the cleanup standards established by the application of risk assessment regulations of the District’s leaking underground storage tank program shall apply.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 305, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(a), 58 DCR 996.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369 substituted “DDOE” for “EHA” wherever it appeared.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–633.06. Certificate of Completion.

(a) The participant shall notify DDOE that the cleanup action plan has been fully implemented, by submitting a cleanup completion report once the cleanup action plan has been completely implemented.

(b) The completion report shall state:

(1) Sampling results;

(2) A description of the measures taken to achieve the applicable standards;

(3) Any engineering and institutional controls used to achieve the applicable standards and the measures that will be necessary to maintain those controls;

(4) A listing of any hazardous substances involved; and

(5) A description of the intended future use of the facility for employment opportunities, housing, open space, recreation or other uses.

(c) DDOE shall review the implementation and completion of the cleanup action plan, and shall issue within 30 business days of the notice pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, a Certificate of Completion, if it determines that the cleanup action plan has been implemented, completed to its satisfaction and has achieved the cleanup criteria.

(d) The Certificate of Completion shall state:

(1) That the requirements of the cleanup action plan have been implemented and that applicable cleanup standards have been met;

(2) That the participant has demonstrated that implementation of the cleanup action plan at the eligible property has achieved the applicable cleanup standard regarding the contamination addressed in the cleanup action plan;

(3) That the participant is released from further liability under this chapter and any other District law or regulation, for the cleanup of the eligible property and for any contamination identified in the environmental assessment of the property, and that the participant shall not be subject to a contribution action instituted by a responsible person;

(4) Whether long-term monitoring and maintenance is necessary for the eligible property;

(5) The permissible uses of the eligible property; and

(6) That the Certificate of Completion is transferable.

(e) DDOE shall send a copy of the Certificate of Completion to the Recorder of Deeds and the Office of Tax and Revenue within 10 business days after its issuance.

(f) If a Certificate of Completion is conditioned on the permissible use of the property for commercial or industrial use, the participant shall record the Certificate of Completion with the Recorder of Deeds within 30 business days after receiving the certificate, or the Certificate of Completion shall be deemed void.

(g) If an owner of an eligible property that has limited permissible uses wants to change the use of the eligible property, the owner, subject to the approval of DDOE, shall be responsible for the cost of cleaning up the property to the appropriate standard.

(h) A requirement for long-term monitoring and maintenance in the approved cleanup action plan shall not delay the issuance of a Certificate of Completion.

(i) A Certificate of Completion shall not:

(1) Prevent the District from taking action against any person or property to prevent or abate an imminent or substantial endangerment to the public or the environment;

(2) Remain in effect if obtained by fraud or a material misrepresentation, or if new information is discovered, within a reasonable time, about a hazardous substance that revises the acceptable risk levels; or if the risk level increases due to land use[;]

(3) Affect the District’s authority to take action against any person concerning new contamination or the exacerbation of an existing contamination after a Certificate of Completion has been issued;

(4) Affect the District’s authority to take action against any person concerning previously undiscovered contamination at an eligible property after a Certificate of Completion has been issued;

(5) Prevent the District from taking action against any person who is responsible for long-term monitoring and maintenance, for failure to comply with the cleanup action plan or failure to maintain institutional control;

(6) Prevent the District from taking action against any person who does not comply with conditions on the permissible use of the eligible property contained in the Certificate of Completion;

(7) Prevent the District from requiring any person to take further action if the eligible property fails to meet the applicable cleanup criteria set up in the cleanup action plan; or

(8) Affect the planning or zoning authority of the District.

(j) The provisions of this section shall not affect any tort action against the participant.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 306, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(a), 58 DCR 996.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-634.09.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369 substituted “DDOE” for “EHA” wherever it appeared.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–633.07. Withdrawal from the Program.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a participant may withdraw from the Program at the time of a pending application or cleanup action plan, or after receiving a Certificate of Completion. To effectively withdraw from the Program, a participant shall:

(1) Provide a 10-day written notice of the anticipated withdrawal to DDOE;

(2) Stabilize and secure the eligible property, to the satisfaction of DDOE, to ensure the protection of the public health and environment; and

(3) Forfeit any application fees.

(b) If the participant is a non-responsible person, the participant may not be required by DDOE to cleanup the eligible property, but shall be held liable for new contamination or the exacerbation of the existing contamination at the eligible property.

(c) If the participant is a responsible person, DDOE or the Mayor may take any applicable enforcement actions authorized pursuant to this chapter.

(d) In the case of an involuntary withdrawal, where DDOE withdraws the approval of a non-responsible person’s cleanup action plan, that person may not be required to cleanup the eligible property, except that the provisions of subsection (a)(1), (2) and (3) and subsection (c) of this section shall apply to the person.

(e) If an application, a cleanup action plan, or a Certificate of Completion is withdrawn, any letter or Certificate of Completion issued pursuant to this chapter shall be void and any bond or other security shall be forfeited.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 307, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(a), 58 DCR 996.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-633.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369 substituted “DDOE” for “EHA” wherever it appeared.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–633.08. Clean Land Fund.

(a) There is established, the Clean Land Fund, as a non-lapsing, revolving fund. The Clean Land Fund shall receive and disburse funds from appropriations, income from operations, fees, gifts by devise or bequest, donations, grants, revenues from a source pursuant to the Program, and revenues from other sources generated from enforcement at a contaminated property or from an action taken to prevent contamination, which sources of revenue may include enforcement actions under §§ 8-632.01 and 8-634.06 and cost recoveries under § 8-634.02.

(b) Monies credited and any interest accrued to the fund shall remain available until expended, and shall not revert to the General Fund of the District of Columbia. Subject to appropriations, the Mayor shall use monies in the fund for the administration, improvement and maintenance of the Program, loans and grants made for contaminated property cleanup assistance pursuant to § 8-637.04, other brownfield revitalization incentives established by this chapter, and other activities associated with the Mayor’s cleanup of contaminated property, including the Mayor’s oversight and enforcement activity.


(June 13, 2001, D.C. Law 13-312, § 308, 48 DCR 3804; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-369, § 2(g), 58 DCR 996.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-637.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-369, in subsec. (a), substituted “revenues from a source pursuant to the Program, and revenues from other sources generated from enforcement at a contaminated property or from an action taken to prevent contamination, which sources of revenue may include enforcement actions under §§ 8-632.01 and 8-634.06 and cost recoveries under § 8-634.02” for “and revenues from any source pursuant to the Program”; and, in subsec. (b), substituted “other brownfield revitalization incentives established by this chapter, and other activities associated with the Mayor’s cleanup of contaminated property, including the Mayor’s oversight and enforcement activity” for “and any other brownfield revitalization incentive established by this chapter”.

Emergency Legislation

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