LDEQ’s Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) facilitates the redevelopment of properties with environmental issues by providing applicants the ability to receive a Certificate of Completion (COC) after the successful remediation of environmental contamination at a site. The COC releases the applicant(s) and future site owners, successors and assigns of liability for all past contamination. Through the Voluntary Remediation Program, LDEQ provides administrative, technical, and legal incentives to encourage the redevelopment and reuse of vacant properties that would otherwise remain abandoned. Note: The information below is provided as a general overview of the VRP. Specific statutes and regulations related to the VRP are included in the Legal Authority section and supersede any information provided below. Contact the LDEQ Brownfield and VRP Team for additional information: _DEQ-VoluntaryRemediationProgram.
The benefits of the VRP include:
A list of sites enrolled in LDEQ’s Voluntary Remediation Program is available at Louisiana VRP Sites - Public Record (Updated Daily). Some sites employ institutional controls as noted in the Louisiana VRP Sites table. The Public Record Key for the VRP Sites table is available at: VRP Sites Public Record Key for Institutional Controls.
All properties are eligible for participation in the VRP, except the following:
All persons are eligible except that only non-responsible persons (as defined in LAC 33:VI.903) are eligible to perform Partial Voluntary Remedial Actions.
In order to be eligible for a Certificate of Completion, applicants must perform an investigation and remediation following the requirements of the Voluntary Investigation and Remedial Action statutes and regulations, including performing the remediation pursuant to a Department-approved Voluntary Remedial Action Work Plan. The Voluntary Remedial Action Process Flowchart outlines the required steps including LDEQ approvals and public notice requirements. Each step must be completed in order to receive a Certificate of Completion.
NOTE: For the purposes of the VRP, the term “remedial action”, “remediation”, and “corrective action” are synonymous.
Under the VRP, the applicant defines the boundaries of “immovable property” (e.g. defines the physical boundaries of their VRP site) and the investigation and remediation under the VRP is limited to those defined boundaries. LDEQ still requires that offsite contamination be addressed, either by the responsible party or by LDEQ, but the investigation and remediation outside of the defined site are conducted through LDEQ’s normal regulatory process. In addition to collecting samples to delineate the nature and extent of contamination, applicants are also required to collect samples throughout the site to determine if environmental concerns are present.
If contamination is found above LDEQ standards, remediation must be performed. At this point, the applicant can choose to stay in the VRP or remediate the site under LDEQ’s normal regulatory process. Only sites that are investigated and remediated under the VRP are eligible to receive a Certificate of Completion and a release of liability for past contamination at the site.
Any applicant wishing to enter the VRP must do so at the beginning of the investigation of a site. Applicants must submit a Voluntary Remedial Investigation (VRI) Application packet to have the Department oversee the investigation. The VRI application packet consists of:
Note: The legal description of the property must be identified in the application and include identifiable site boundaries. The legal description can be a several things, including a survey of the area of immovable property, a description from the conveyance records or a description from the assessor’s office. Just the site address or latitude/ longitude is not adequate.
The LDEQ Team Leader will review the application packet and the VRI Work Plan and provide any comments to the applicant. Once the LDEQ Team Leader approves of the VRI Work Plan, the applicant implements the work plan with LDEQ oversight. The applicant then submits an Investigation Report to LDEQ for review and comment.
An applicant wishing to receive Certificate of Completion must submit a Voluntary Remediation Application Packet which consists of:
The VRAP cannot be approved unless an investigation report identifying the nature and extent of contamination at the VRP site has been approved by LDEQ in writing. If the VRAP application does not include an approved VRP investigation report, contact the VRP Team Leader to determine next steps forward.
Cleanup/ remediation under the VRP requires a 30-day public notice for the Voluntary Remedial Action Plan (VRAP; also known as a Cleanup Plan). The VRAP is submitted to the LDEQ Team Leader for review. Once the VRAP is reviewed and approved by LDEQ, the applicant will be informed the VRAP is acceptable/ready for public review. The applicant is then responsible for:
If public comments are received during the comment period that necessitate a change in the VRAP, LDEQ will notify the applicant of the necessary changes in writing and require the submission of the revised VRAP. Upon LDEQ approval that the changes have been incorporated in the VRAP, the Team Leader can move forward with the approval process. If no public comments are received during the comment period, or LDEQ determines that the comments do not affect the remedy or are not germane to the remedy, the VRAP can then move forward in the approval process. The final VRAP must be signed by the LDEQ Secretary or designee.
Non-responsible parties may also be eligible to conduct a Partial Voluntary Remedial Action. In addition to removing and/or treating the contamination, a Partial Voluntary Remedial Action may also utilize engineering controls and/or institutional controls to address contamination, which can dramatically reduce remediation costs and facilitate the reuse of the site. Partial Voluntary Remedial Actions must be protective of public health and the environment for the intended use of the property, and corresponding required use restrictions for the property must be recorded in the parish records. All Partial Voluntary Remedial Action require use restrictions which must be identified in the Voluntary Remedial Action Plan.
Only non-responsible persons, as defined in LAC 33:VI.903, may apply to perform a Partial Voluntary Remedial Action or receive a Certificate of Completion for a Partial Voluntary Remedial Action. Applicants for a Partial Voluntary Remedial Action follow the same process as above, except that they must also submit a Partial Voluntary Remediation Supplemental Application Form [Document (save); PDF (view)] at the time of application.
All paper correspondence regarding remediation issues should be submitted to the department in triplicate to:
Estuardo Silva, P.G., Administrator
P.O. Box 4314
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4314
One of the copies should be directed to the attention of the remediation Team Leader if assigned. Include the following information on the reference line of all the correspondence submitted:
RE: Purpose of Letter
LDEQ Agency Interest (AI) Number if assigned
Site Name (should match with AI Number)
Applicable Alternate Site Name(s)
Submittal Guidelines for Electronic Documents
Cost waivers for LDEQ VRP review fees up to $5,000 are available for eligible nonprofit and government entities who are not responsible for the contamination at the site being investigated/ remediated. This waiver does not include the $500 application fee to be submitted with the investigation and/or remediation application. To apply for a cost waiver, complete the VRP Oversight Cost Waiver Request Form and submit it as part of your VRP investigation or remediation application packet.
Statutory Authority (La. R.S. 30:2285-2290)
VRP Regulations (LAC 33:VI. Chapter 9)
LDEQ’s Voluntary Remediation Program was created in 1996 to facilitate the redevelopment of vacant and abandoned sites and create a mechanism for liability protection.
The VRP is in compliance with LDEQ’s Memorandum of Agreement with EPA Region 6.
General inquiries regarding the Voluntary Remediation Program may be sent via email to _DEQ-VoluntaryRemediationProgram.