MDEQ – part 201; deja vu all over again?

10 Nov 2011

Recently, the MDEQ proposed a rapid collaborative process between MDEQ staff and business stakeholders to try and improve the process under Part 201.  This process may begin as early as next year and end by April, 2012 (if the MDEQ can pull it together in time).   This process is to address concerns regarding the following issues, some of which have become problematic in slowing or preventing the closure of sites that have had extensive cleanup work done:

1. Groundwater/Surface Water Interface Pathway (GSI); 2. Cleanup Criteria; 3. Vapor Intrusion; 4. Free Product Recovery, Source Removal and Control, and C-Sat; 5. Brownfield Redevelopment; 6. Part 201 Rules; and 7. Due Care Obligations.

If this seems vaguely familiar, it’s because in 2007, Public Sector Consultants released a report aimed at many of those same goals.  Back then there was a year+ long collaborative process aimed at improving: (1) program adminstration; (2) brownfield redevelopment; (3) complexity and technical issues; and (4)  liability and compliance. From that sprung some positive changes to the brownfield program (many of which have now been wiped out due to Governor Snyder’s reorganization of that program) and a 2009 proposal by the MDEQ that was decidedly not what was collaboratively agreed to. That proposal went nowhere.

As you will recall, I, along with many others, worked hard on the 2010 amendments to Part 201 which were intended to resolve many of the above issues, but MDEQ has either failed or refused to implement many of those changes. We have heard that MDEQ is now looking for easy sites to “close” – to which I say, “great and it’s about time.”  While I am hopeful that this new fast-track approach will lead to a change in the zero-risk tolerance mind-set at MDEQ that has prevented cleaned sites from achieving closure, the cynic in me wonders….

Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply