Working with the Voluntary Cleanup Program

Working with the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) is a partnership toward cleanup. For the most benefit, we suggest applying to the VCP as early as possible in your cleanup process.

Cleaning up your property or site

A cleanup site is defined by the extent of the hazardous substance release. In other words, the site is where the contamination is, regardless of property boundaries. A site may include multiple property parcels. You may choose to clean up just your property (property cleanup) or the entire site (site cleanup). There is specific guidance for property cleanups.

Documenting the cleanup

Our assistance is based on information you provide. Your reports should be complete and accurate. Include relevant background information and a general summary of the site.

If applicable, include a completed:

Please use our remedial investigation report template for a quicker review and opinion of your remedial investigation reports.

Professional certification

rubber stamp

Documents containing geologic, hydrogeologic, or engineering work must be stamped by an appropriately licensed professional. For guidance on what work requires a license, see:

Submitting electronic data

You must upload your cleanup-site sample analysis data to our Environmental Information Management (EIM) system. Upload the data, and send us the accompanying analytical reports as soon as possible after collecting your samples. Review cleanup site data submittal requirements.

Requesting opinions

We review opinion requests in the order we receive the completed requests. To enter the queue, all environmental data for your site must be entered into EIM, and you must send us:

Types of opinions we issue

We issue four types of opinions for cleanup projects:

  • Further Action opinions, when further action is necessary, or if a proposed cleanup will not likely meet cleanup requirements.
  • Further Action Likely opinions, when further cleanup will likely be necessary or if proposed actions are not likely to meet cleanup requirements.
  • No Further Action Likely opinions, when your proposed cleanup will likely meet cleanup requirements.
  • No Further Action opinions, when your cleanup meets all requirements.

Opinions are void if any of the information you provide to us is materially false or misleading. We can rescind a No Further Action determination if new information shows that site contamination conditions are inaccurately or inadequately represented.

Using opinions to inform future work

Opinions provide our current understanding of the status of your cleanup. You can use our opinions to help define the scope of additional investigation and cleanup activities needed to meet Washington’s cleanup law and regulations.

How the VCP charges you

We bill you for the time we work on your cleanup project. Examples of billable activities include communicating with your designated customer team, reviewing documents, and preparing opinions.

We mail an invoice to your billing contact for each month your project incurs charges.

Full payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date. If we do not receive payment within 30 days, we will notify you and withhold issuing opinions for your project. We stop all work on projects with payments outstanding over 60 days. If you do not pay an invoice within 90 days, we may send the outstanding bill to collections.

Customer team

As part of your application to join the VCP, we ask you to designate a customer team with a project manager as our primary point of contact.

Your customer team could be only you, or it might include environmental consultants, attorneys, property owners and managers, and billing specialists. You decide who you want us to work with.

Updating your contact information or customer team

You can update us on changes of contact information for you or your team members at any time. If you need to do this, please send us a completed change of contact form.

Customer changes

If the customer listed on your VCP agreement changes, the new customer will need to sign a new agreement. The assigned site manager would likely remain the same. If site conditions remain the same, and only the customer changes, please send us a completed changing customer form.


  • You will maintain a professional and mutually respectful relationship with your assigned site manager and any Ecology staff.

  • You will conduct your investigation and cleanup actions independently.

  • Your cleanup will progress.

  • You will respond to our status update requests in a timely manner.

  • The reports you provide will meet our minimum requirements for report submittals.

  • You will upload all electronic environmental data to the EIM system as soon as possible after collecting samples.

  • You will send us a completed request for opinion form and all required materials when you need us to evaluate your cleanup activities and provide technical help.

  • You will send us a completed change of contact form to inform us of any changes in your contact information or your customer team contact information.

  • We will encourage a professional and mutually respectful relationship with you and your customer team.

  • Our opinions will be consistent in how we interpret and implement our policies and procedures, and Washington State law.

  • We will be helpful and supportive and have a positive attitude and passion for what we do for a cleaner Washington.
  • We will respond to email inquiriesand phone calls as soon as possible.

  • We will be proactive and respond to your completed VCP application materials within about 10 days of receipt.

  • For sites already in the standard VCP, we strive to respond to 90% of review requests within 90 days of receiving a completed request for opinion. Our response could include issuing an opinion or requesting additional information needed to complete our review.