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The Voluntary Cleanup and Redevelopment program aims to protect and improve human health and the environment. The program helps promote urban redevelopment and stimulates economic growth by encouraging and supporting the reuse of contaminated lands and buildings through voluntary, private cleanup.
The redevelopment of abandoned, idled, or under-utilized government, industrial, commercial or residential property through cleanup and sound environmental remediation practices.
The District Department of the Environment seeks to protect and preserve the ecological system of the District, protect and increase green spaces, and promote the safe use or development of lands that are contaminated or perceived to be contaminated by hazardous substances. To achieve this goal, DDOE established the District of Columbia Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP). Unlike the media-specific programs that require mandatory cleanup of contaminated property, VCP oversees owner- or developer-initiated voluntary remediation of contaminated lands and buildings that return actual or potentially contaminated properties to productive uses.
In 1999, the Department of Health entered into an agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, to establish a Clean Land Program in the District of Columbia. The purpose of the Clean Land Program is to ensure that any potential or known contaminated land in the city is carefully, but efficiently, assessed, cleaned to the city’s groundwater and soil standards and then reused for development or other productive purposes. VCP allows individuals, businesses and other entities, who otherwise have no responsibility for cleanup, to voluntarily clean up contaminated sites for future use.
On June 15, 2001, the Brownfield Revitalization Amendment Act of 2000, D.C. Law 13-312, D.C. Official Code § 8-631 et seq. (Supp. 2002) became effective. The Act established the Voluntary Cleanup Program for contaminated property. The Act authorized tax and other incentives for development of contaminated property, included development of contaminated property on District priority area lists and community development programs.
The Hazardous Waste Division also ensures that DC military installation restoration projects are completed in accordance with District of Columbia environmental laws and regulations. Hazardous Waste staff work under an agreement with the US Department of Defense to provide technical review and guidance to military services for installation restoration projects at active military sites and formerly used defense sites in the District of Columbia. These sites include the Washington Navy Yard, which is the District’s only Superfund site; Bolling Air Force Base and Spring Valley, a World War I munitions testing site in Northwest DC. Activities include technical review of work plans and reports, site visits, attendance at regular technical meetings, and participation in community outreach activities such as Restoration Advisory Board meetings.