Site Mitigation Program

The County of Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health (DEH) Site Mitigation Programs include two unique programs to oversee assessment and mitigation of contaminated sites to protect groundwater resources, human health, safety, and the environment.

Local Oversight Program

Since July 1, 2004, the DEH has served as the local oversight agency for investigations and cleanup of petroleum releases from underground storage tanks (USTs) through implementation of the Local Oversight Program (LOP) contract with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The program serves all cities and unincorporated areas within the County of Santa Clara. Prior to July 1, 2004, the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) served as the local oversight agency.

All LOP documents (electronic case files) are posted on the SWRCB's GeoTracker website. Documents relating to site cases and other related reference information are available for online viewing by clicking on the link provided to the right. Our contact information is also available via the link to the right.

On May 1, 2012 the SWRCB adopted Resolution #2012-0016 which established the Low-Threat UST Case Closure Policy (LTCP). The LTCP became effective on August 17, 2012. The LTCP was created to establish statewide guidelines for closure of petroleum UST release sites that pose a low threat to human health, safety, and the environment. The LTCP requires local oversight agencies close all cases that meet the LTCP criteria. LTCP criteria that must be satisfied include: general criteria; groundwater criteria; petroleum vapor intrusion to indoor air criteria; and direct contact and outdoor air exposure criteria.

LOP Resources:

Site Cleanup Program

The Site Cleanup Program (SCP) oversees the cleanup of properties contaminated by hazardous materials not exclusively associated with petroleum USTs. California Health & Safety Code Sections 101480 through 101490 state that a RP for a contaminated site may request local agency oversight of site assessment and remediation activities. The SCP allows motivated parties who are able to fund site cleanup to conduct assessment and mitigation of contaminated sites. The DEH’s goal is to work collaboratively with stakeholders to facilitate more efficient and effective site cleanup. DEH oversight activities include reviews of relevant environmental documents such as Phase I and Phase II investigations, site assessment and remediation work plans, and monitoring and sampling operations; evaluations of potential risk; establishment of site cleanup criteria; and oversight of remediation and/or mitigation measures, including verification monitoring.

Interested RPs are encouraged to contact the DEH directly to discuss potential projects before formally applying for regulatory oversight. Prior to accepting a new case, the DEH is required to notify the DTSC and RWQCB to determine if these agencies have any regulatory involvement with the site and if they will retain oversight authority. If the DEH receives no response from the DTSC and RWQCB within 30 days of the notice, or if both the DTSC and RWQCB confirm prior to 30 days that they will not retain oversight authority, DEH may proceed with the RAA. A site-specific RAA will be created after the required notifications have been made. A fully executed RAA must be in place before the DEH can begin regulatory oversight of a SCP case. The application and an example Remedial Action Agreement are available below for reference.

Following execution of the RAA, a caseworker will be assigned to oversee the case and will evaluate the case based on a comprehensive environmental review process, which requires RPs to provide sufficient data to develop a complete CSM to adequately evaluate soil, groundwater, and soil vapor. All SCP documents (electronic case files) are posted on the SWRCB's GeoTracker website.

RPs will be assessed an hourly service fee for DEH oversight of the case. The current hourly rate for the SCP is $237 per hour. The SCP bills RPs on a quarterly basis, and payment is due within 30 calendar days of the invoice date.

After determining that the RP has completed the necessary site assessment and remediation work, and following a required 30-day public comment period, the DEH will provide the RP with a case closure letter, which will describe the activities conducted at the site and will confirm, based upon available data, that residual contamination at the site does not pose a continuing significant threat to groundwater resources, human health, safety, or the environment.

​For More Information About the SCP Please Contact:

Travis L. Flora
Senior Hazardous Materials Specialist
Phone: (408) 918-3486
Email: [email protected]

SCP Resources:

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