The CHS Enforcement Division oversees assessment and cleanup of hazardous waste sites by responsible persons. It also conducts assessment and cleanup of hazardous waste sites when no responsible person exists for a site or when the person is unable or unwilling to do the work. The statutory and regulatory requirements for carrying out the Hazardous Substances Response Plan are found in Section 7-222 of the Environment Article and in COMAR 26.14.
The Hazardous Substances Response Plan establishes the framework for conducting assessment and cleanup activities. The required work is broken into three phases: Assessment; Cleanup; and Operation and Monitoring.
First, the Division requires that a detailed work plan be submitted for review and approval. This work plan provides a detailed schedule for performing a comprehensive investigation to study and assess the extent of contamination of soils and groundwater on and off the Site. Such plans must thorough enough to provide all parties with a Conceptual Site Model that supports the development of a Feasibility Study for different remedial alternatives.
The cleanup phase of the Hazardous Substances Response Plan requires that a written evaluation of remedial alternatives including a time schedule for implementing each remedial alternative is reviewed and approved by the Division. The report containing the analysis of the remedial alternatives is called the Feasibility Study (FS). Each remedial alternative that is considered in the plan must describe the plans and specifications for proposed alternative remedial measures. The description must identify the equipment and systems to be used to control, contain, remove, treat and/or otherwise effectively remediate contaminated soils and groundwater both on and off the Site.
In addition, the FS must include the following information for each remedial alternative considered:
Once the Division has received the report, it evaluates the remedial alternatives submitted and then selects the remedy that is determined to be the most appropriate solution.
After the Division has selected the remedy, the next step is to complete the design and implementation of the remedial action. If the work is being performed by a Responsible Person, the Division provides oversight, monitoring and enforcement to make sure that it is properly implemented. The Department may issue enforcement orders to ensure that the remedial action is properly implemented.
In the event a party cannot or is unwilling to undertake a remedial action, the Division may remove or arrange for the removal of and provide for remedial action relating to the hazardous substances on the Site. It can seek reimbursement or sue for cost recovery under the provisions of Md. Code Envir. §§ 7-221 and 7-222(a)(2)(i).
Public participation is also very important on hazardous substance site cleanup actions. For sites listed on the Disposal Site Registry where remedial actions are funded entirely by the Hazardous Substance Control Fund, the Department is required to publish the final selection of remedy in a major local newspaper of general circulation. It also may carryout the community relations and public information procedures described below. These procedures may include providing an opportunity for public informational meetings; receiving public comment on the proposed selection of remedy; and publishing a notice of informational meetings and proposed selections of remedy in a major local newspaper of general circulation.
In addition to other community relations and public information procedures, the Department shall, upon any county's request, provide information on sites of interest to the chief health or environment officer of the county, and an opportunity to consult with the Department before the Department's final selection of remedy. Finally, the Department may compile and maintain an administrative record that contains the documents that form the basis for the selection of a response action.
The list of State Remediation Sites of current public interest can be found on this webpage. Additional sites may be found at the LRP Mapping site, and the LRP Factsheet webpage.
The Land Restoration Program’s Controlled Hazardous Substance Enforcement Division (Division) can provide technical reviews of environmental documents to interested parties. An interested party can obtain LRP’s technical assistance by submitting a written request and agree to cost recovery for the time spent on providing the technical assistance. The Division can review and comment on site-related documents as varied as environmental investigation and remediation reports, work plans, and/or proposed investigation/remediation strategies. Once it has completed its review, the Division provides the findings to the requester in a letter format, the content of which can range from a simple "No Further Action" determination to detailed comments, investigation/remediation requirements, and/or land use restriction requirements.
The technical review can be conducted prior to, or in conjunction with, a Voluntary Cleanup Program application. The Land Restoration Program encourages interested parties to discuss the business-specific requirements with in advance of any project.
Conducting reviews of environmental documents ranges between two to four weeks. The timing of the review is dictated by the complexity of the assignment.
The Division bills the requester on a semi-annual schedule for its review time, at rates ranging from approximately $40 to $70 per hour. Generally, the cost of a straightforward TRS assignment is on the order of $500 to $1,000.
Parties interested in scheduling an environmental project review can contact the Division at 410-537-3493 or by email at email@example.com. You will be asked to send the Division a formal letter requesting our TRS. The letter can be emailed to our attention and must include the nature of the review you are requesting, formal acknowledgement that the requester will be billed for this service, and the name and contact information for the person/entity that will be handling the Division's invoices. An example of a typical request letter is attached. Upon request, and for a fee, the Division can provide a technical review service (TRS) to interested parties. The Division can review and comment on site-related documents as varied as environmental investigation and remediation reports, work plans, and/or proposed investigation/remediation strategies. The Division provides the findings of its review to the requester in a letter format, the content of which can range from a simple "No Further Action" determination to detailed comments, investigation/remediation requirements, and/or land use restriction requirements.
Example Review Request Letter
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