Voluntary Cleanup Program

The Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) helps property owners who are independently cleaning up their site. We provide technical assistance for a fee. Successful cleanups completed through the VCP receive a No Further Action opinion, which can be helpful when selling a property or applying for financing.

Since 1999, almost 3,000 cleaned up sites have received No Further Action letters through the VCP.

Helping people with their independent cleanup projects

There are two main options for cleaning up sites under Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA): Ecology-supervised cleanups and independent cleanups. The majority of cleanups in Washington are conducted independently. Independent cleanups are also called Independent Remedial Actions.

Some independent cleanup projects work with the VCP to receive a No Further Action opinion.

You may conduct an independent remedial action without joining the VCP.

All cleanups must meet state standards

Whether a site is cleaned up with our supervision or independently, the cleanup must meet MTCA standards. The VCP helps property owners meet these standards. Cleanup projects must also comply with other state and local rules, such as cultural resource regulations.

Two VCP processes

VCP applicants have the option of applying to either the Standard VCP process or Expedited VCP process.

Standard VCP process

Applying to the Standard VCP process is free. VCP customers pay only a portion of our costs for review and assistance. Customers can apply at any point during cleanup. However, we encourage applying early in the cleanup process.

There may be a wait list for new sites to apply to the Standard VCP process. There is also a list for sites already in the process which are waiting for a new site manager to be assigned.

Expedited VCP process

The Expedited VCP process offers a more predictable turnaround time for opinions. Unlike the Standard VCP process, Expedited VCP customers must pay all of Ecology’s costs, including a nonrefundable application fee. When applying, customers must provide a cleanup schedule and a thorough remedial investigation report to our satisfaction and in accordance with MTCA requirements.

Grants for local governments

Local governments may qualify to receive funding for independent cleanups from our Independent Remedial Action Grant program.

Local governments seeking an Independent Remedial Action Grant from us must apply to and enter the VCP before starting ground-disturbing activities. We will conduct a cultural resource consultation, unless the consultation requirements have already been met by a review by another agency.