(1) Purpose. It is the department's intent to move sites through the cleanup process as expeditiously as possible. However, the department is limited by the amount of personnel and funds it can expend in any given fiscal year. This section is intended to establish reasonable deadlines for remedying releases within these constraints. The department's process for ranking and setting site priorities is described in WAC 173-340-330
(2) Initial investigation. Within ninety days of learning of a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance, the department shall complete an initial investigation under WAC 173-340-310
(3) Further investigation. At least twice a year, the department shall determine which sites with completed initial investigations are a high priority for further investigation. At that time, the department shall schedule high priority sites for further investigations to begin within six months. This determination will be based on the best professional judgment of departmental staff. Sites may be scheduled for further investigation at any time if the department determines that the site warrants expedited action.
(4) Site assessment and ranking. For high priority sites, the department shall complete the site hazard assessment and hazard ranking within one hundred eighty days of the scheduled start date. These sites shall be identified in the department's Site Register
. Sites not designated as a high priority shall be scheduled for future investigations and listed in the biennial report to the legislature (WAC 173-340-340
). The department shall conduct at least thirty-five site hazard assessments each fiscal year until the number of sites needing site hazard assessments are reduced below this number.
(5) Site investigation. Within thirty days of ranking, the department shall designate which sites are a high priority for a remedial investigation/feasibility study and which sites are a lower priority where further action can be delayed. The department shall review these lower priority sites and provide an opportunity for public comment as part of the biennial report to the legislature (WAC 173-340-340
(6) Remedial investigation/feasibility study. For all sites designated as a high priority, the remedial investigation/feasibility study shall be completed under WAC 173-340-350
within eighteen months of signing the order or decree. The department may extend the deadline up to twelve months if the circumstances at the site merit a longer time frame. The department shall provide the public an opportunity to comment on any extension. The department shall initiate a remedial investigation/feasibility study on at least ten sites per fiscal year.
(7) Cleanup action. The department shall select the cleanup action under WAC 173-340-360
and file a consent decree or issue an order for cleanup action for all designated high priority sites within six months of the completion of the remedial investigation/feasibility study. The department may extend the deadline for up to four months for consent decree and order discussions. The department shall provide the public with an opportunity to comment on any deadline extension.
(8) Site schedules. The department shall publish site schedules for designated high priority sites in the Site Register
according to WAC 173-340-600
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 70.105D RCW. 01-05-024 (Order 97-09A), § 173-340-140, filed 2/12/01, effective 8/15/01; 90-08-086, § 173-340-140, filed 4/3/90, effective 5/4/90.]