(1) Purpose. The purpose of the site hazard assessment is to provide sufficient sampling data and other information for the department to:
(a) Confirm or rule out that a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance has occurred;
(b) Identify the hazardous substance and provide some information regarding the extent and concentration of the substance;
(c) Identify site characteristics that could result in the hazardous substance entering and moving through the environment;
(d) Evaluate the potential for the threat to human health and the environment; and
(e) Determine the hazard ranking of the site under WAC 173-340-330
, if appropriate.
(2) Timing. Generally, a site hazard assessment shall be completed before proceeding to any subsequent phase of remedial action, other than an emergency or interim action.
(3) Administrative options. The site hazard assessment may be conducted under any of the procedures described in WAC 173-340-510
. The department may rely on another government agency or a contractor to the department to conduct a site hazard assessment on its behalf, provided the department determines such an agency or contractor is not suspected to have contributed to the release or threatened release of a hazardous substance and that no conflict of interest exists.
(4) Scope and content. A site hazard assessment is an early study to provide preliminary data regarding the relative potential hazard of the site. A site hazard assessment is not intended to be a detailed site characterization; however, it shall include sufficient sampling, site observations, maps, and other information needed to meet the purposes specified in subsection (1) of this section. To fulfill this requirement, a site hazard assessment shall include, as appropriate, the following information:
(a) Identification of hazardous substances, including what was released and is threatened to be released and/or, if known, what products of decomposition, recombination, or chemical reaction are currently present on site, and an estimate of their quantities and concentrations;
(b) Evidence confirming a release or threatened release of hazardous substances to the environment;
(c) Description of facilities containing releases, if any, and their condition;
(d) Identification of the location of all areas where a hazardous substance is known or suspected to be, indicated on a site map;
(e) Consideration of surface water run-on and runoff and the hazardous substances leaching potential;
(f) Preliminary characterization of the subsurface and groundwater actually or potentially affected by the release, including vertical depth to groundwater and distance to nearby wells, bodies of surface water, and drinking water intakes;
(g) Preliminary evaluation of receptors, including: Human population, food crops, recreation areas, parks, sensitive environments, irrigated areas, and aquatic resources currently or potentially affected by groundwater, air, or surface water containing the release of hazardous substances at the site, including distances to these receptors; and
(h) Any other physical factors which may be significant in estimating the potential or current exposure to sensitive biota.
(5) Guidance. The department shall make available guidance for how to conduct a site hazard assessment to meet the requirements of this section. Persons are encouraged to contact the department to obtain a copy of the latest guidance.
(6) Department decision. Based on the results of the site hazard assessment and other available information about the site, the department shall either determine the site warrants no further action using the criteria in WAC 173-340-310
(5)(d) or proceed with ranking and placing the site on the hazardous sites list under WAC 173-340-330
(7) Notification. The department shall make available the results of the site hazard assessment to the site's owner and operator and any person who has received a potentially liable person status letter under WAC 173-340-500
regarding the site. If the department finds after a site hazard assessment that the site requires no further action, it shall publish this decision in the Site Register
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 70.105D RCW. 01-05-024 (Order 97-09A), § 173-340-320, filed 2/12/01, effective 8/15/01; 90-08-086, § 173-340-320, filed 4/3/90, effective 5/4/90.]