InControl Technologies has extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge of the regulations and requirements of state environmental programs. This section describes several common state environmental cleanup programs and their advantages and procedures. To learn more about these programs or to discuss which program fits your property and environmental goals, please contact us. An InControl Technologies project manager will discuss the options to ensure you are well-informed and confident in making decisions regarding the property.
Voluntary Cleanup Program
The Texas Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) is focused on sites with environmental impacts that may cause redevelopment challenges for the subject property. The site is entered into the VCP by an applicant, undergoes cleanup activities, and once it meets environmental regulatory standards, the site receives a final Certificate of Completion (COC). Under the VCP, site investigation and cleanup are driven by the applicant, rather than by the State, since the program is “voluntary.”
For property development and transactions, the VCP can be used as a tool to increase the value of the property. When a COC is issued for a site, all non-responsible parties and future landowners receive liability protection from the State for cleanup obligations. The requirements to receive a COC under the VCP are stringent due to the release of liability it renders. A COC is deed recorded in the real property records. A COC also releases many real estate transaction constraints on the site; this allows many properties to be redeveloped for commercial/industrial or residential use.
InControl Technologies has managed over 300 sites in the VCP since 1997. Our experts can manage projects through the stages of the complex VCP process, starting with the program application, through monitoring and remediation, and finally to the issuance of a COC. Whether we manage the site through every stage or we are retained for a site already in the program, our team is valuable in progressing a site to successful closure. Based on the planned use of the land, InControl works with each client to facilitate a site redevelopment strategy while balancing both cost and risk. We are knowledgeable about the requirements and remediation processes to successfully achieve VCP cleanup goals for our clients and the State.
Innocent Owner/Operator Program
The Innocent Owner/Operator Program (IOP) differs from the VCP in that the Innocent Owner/Operator Certificate (IOC) only releases liability for the current owner or operator and it is non-transferable. When a current owner or operator of a property proves that their property became contaminated from an off-site source and that they did not contribute to the source of contamination, an IOC declares them as “innocent.” The IOC is issued to an entity (i.e., owner or operator) and not to the property. We help our client determine if this program is the most advantageous for their situation. InControl Technologies’ environmental professionals are knowledgeable and experienced in the regulations of the IOP, including obtaining numerous successful closures on behalf of our clients.
Dry Cleaner Remediation Program
The state of Texas has registration requirements and environmental standards for dry cleaners. If a dry cleaner has a release and meets eligibility requirements, the dry cleaner site can apply to the state-lead Dry Cleaner Remediation Program (DCRP). Applications can be submitted by the current or former landowner or the current or former facility owner/operator. Enrolled dry cleaner sites are placed in a prioritized list and receive funding for cleanup activities. Our project managers can assist clients in reviewing their eligibility and applying for the DCRP. Once enrolled, a DCRP site undergoes investigation and corrective action which may include cleanup of the impacted soil, groundwater, or surface water. Once the DCRP site meets TCEQ regulatory standards, a no further action letter is issued, and the site is closed.
InControl Technologies has managed over 100 sites associated with the DCRP as both consultant and state-lead contractor.
Municipal Setting Designation
A Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) is a legally binding document preventing the use of groundwater as potable water at a subject property. Potable water is water that is used for drinking, showering, bathing, cooking, or irrigating crops intended for human consumption. The MSD protects public health by restricting people from using contaminated groundwater as potable water within the designated property.
An MSD can be strategic for site redevelopment because it can change the State’s requirements for the cleanup of contaminated groundwater at the site, typically to less stringent regulations. Generally, potable water has the most protective concentration levels for groundwater cleanup regulatory requirements. Therefore, by not allowing the use of groundwater as potable water, the MSD law provides an alternative for accelerated and less expensive cleanup of contaminated groundwater.
An MSD application must meet numerous requirements, including notifications about the application to nearby water well owners, and have municipal support from the city where the proposed MSD is located. Once the MSD has municipal acceptance, the application can be submitted to the TCEQ for certification. The MSD does not remove any liability from the property owner, and it does not excuse the applicant from cleanup activities required by the State to reduce other risks to the public, such as vapor inhalation from the groundwater contamination or non-potable uses (e.g., watering pets or livestock or irrigation of lawns).
InControl Technologies’ project managers have extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge in guiding our clients through the MSD process. We handle communications with nearby residents of the subject property and attend public meetings in which we assist the City representatives in providing expert explanations and information about the subject site. If you are interested in pursuing an MSD for a property or you have received an MSD notification letter and would like more information, please contact us.
The following are frequently asked questions by residents who receive MSD notifications:
Why am I receiving a letter?
If you have received a letter by certified mail or delivery confirmation, you were identified as a real property owner with a water well on it located within a five (5)-mile radius of the property which has applied for the MSD.
Why are you sending me so many letters?
The requirements of the Texas Health and Safety Code, as it applies to the MSD program, state that a minimum of three (3) attempts must be made to notify water well owners within five (5)-miles of the property which has applied for the MSD. If we do not receive confirmation (i.e., the green receipt card from certified mail) that you received the notification letter from our first attempt, we make a second and possibly third attempt to notify you.
What does this mean for me and my property?
An MSD cannot be placed on your property without your knowledge. The letters are intended to notify you that a property within five (5)-miles of your property has applied to this program. They are for notification only and no action is required on your part. Municipal water supply is not affected. These letters are to inform you of the application and give you an opportunity to ask questions and provide any comments. Information regarding the public meeting, how to obtain a copy of the application, and contact information is provided in the letter(s).
There is no water well on my property. How do I get my name taken off the list?
Please contact the Texas Water Development Board.
Texas Water Development Board
1700 North Congress Avenue
P.O. Box 13231
Austin, Texas 78711-3231
Phone: (512) 463-7847