3746.04 Adoption and implementation of rules for voluntary action program.

Within one year after September 28, 1994, the director of environmental protection, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall adopt, and subsequently may amend, suspend, or rescind, rules that do both of the following:

(A) Revise the rules adopted under Chapters 3704., 3714., 3734., 6109., and 6111. of the Revised Code to incorporate the provisions necessary to conform those rules to the requirements of this chapter. The amended rules adopted under this division also shall establish response times for all submittals to the environmental protection agency required under this chapter or rules adopted under it.

(B) Establish requirements and procedures that are reasonably necessary for the implementation and administration of this chapter, including, without limitation, all of the following:

(1) Appropriate generic numerical clean-up standards for the treatment or removal of soils, sediments, and water media for hazardous substances and petroleum. The rules shall establish separate generic numerical clean-up standards based upon the intended use of properties after the completion of voluntary actions, including industrial, commercial, and residential uses and such other categories of land use as the director considers to be appropriate. The generic numerical clean-up standards established for each category of land use shall be the concentration of each contaminant that may be present on a property that shall ensure protection of public health and safety and the environment for the reasonable exposure for that category of land use. When developing the standards, the director shall consider such factors as all of the following:

(a) Scientific information, including, without limitation, toxicological information and realistic assumptions regarding human and environmental exposure to hazardous substances or petroleum;

(b) Climatic factors;

(c) Human activity patterns;

(d) Current statistical techniques;

(e) For petroleum at industrial property, alternatives to the use of total petroleum hydrocarbons.

The generic numerical clean-up standards established in the rules adopted under division (B)(1) of this section shall be consistent with and equivalent in scope, content, and coverage to any applicable standard established by federal environmental laws and regulations adopted under them, including, without limitation, the "Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972," 86 Stat. 886, 33 U.S.C.A. 1251, as amended; the "Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976," 90 Stat. 2806, 42 U.S.C.A. 6921, as amended; the "Toxic Substances Control Act," 90 Stat. 2003 (1976), 15 U.S.C.A. 2601, as amended; the "Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980," 94 Stat. 2779, 42 U.S.C.A. 9601, as amended; and the "Safe Drinking Water Act," 88 Stat. 1660 (1974), 42 U.S.C.A. 300f, as amended.

In order for the rules adopted under division (B)(1) of this section to require that any such federal environmental standard apply to a property, the property shall meet the requirements of the particular federal statute or regulation involved in the manner specified by the statute or regulation.

The generic numerical clean-up standards for petroleum at commercial or residential property shall be the standards established in rules adopted under division (B) of section 3737.882 of the Revised Code.

(2)

(a) Procedures for performing property-specific risk assessments that would be performed at a property to demonstrate that the remedy evaluated in a risk assessment results in protection of public health and safety and the environment instead of complying with the generic numerical clean-up standards established in the rules adopted under division (B)(1) of this section. The risk assessment procedures shall describe a methodology to establish, on a property-specific basis, allowable levels of contamination to remain at a property to ensure protection of public health and safety and the environment on the property and off the property when the contamination is emanating off the property, taking into account all of the following:

(i) The implementation of treatment, storage, or disposal, or a combination thereof, of hazardous substances or petroleum;

(ii) The existence of institutional controls or activity and use limitations that eliminate or mitigate exposure to hazardous substances or petroleum through the restriction of access to hazardous substances or petroleum;

(iii) The existence of engineering controls that eliminate or mitigate exposure to hazardous substances or petroleum through containment of, control of, or restrictions of access to hazardous substances or petroleum, including, without limitation, fences, cap systems, cover systems, and landscaping.

(b) The risk assessment procedures and levels of acceptable risk set forth in the rules adopted under division (B)(2) of this section shall be based upon all of the following:

(i) Scientific information, including, without limitation, toxicological information and actual or proposed human and environmental exposure;

(ii) Locational and climatic factors;

(iii) Surrounding land use and human activities;

(iv) Differing levels of remediation that may be required when an existing land use is continued compared to when a different land use follows the remediation.

(c) Any standards established pursuant to rules adopted under division (B)(2) of this section shall be no more stringent than standards established under the environmental statutes of this state and rules adopted under them for the same contaminant in the same environmental medium that are in effect at the time the risk assessment is conducted.

(3) Minimum standards for phase I property assessments. The standards shall specify the information needed to demonstrate that there is no reason to believe that contamination exists on a property. The rules adopted under division (B)(3) of this section, at a minimum, shall require that a phase I property assessment include all of the following:

(a) A review and analysis of deeds, mortgages, easements of record, and similar documents relating to the chain of title to the property that are publicly available or that are known to and reasonably available to the owner or operator;

(b) A review and analysis of any previous environmental assessments, property assessments, environmental studies, or geologic studies of the property and any land within two thousand feet of the boundaries of the property that are publicly available or that are known to and reasonably available to the owner or operator;

(c) A review of current and past environmental compliance histories of persons who owned or operated the property;

(d) A review of aerial photographs of the property that indicate prior uses of the property;

(e) Interviews with managers of activities conducted at the property who have knowledge of environmental conditions at the property;

(f) Conducting an inspection of the property consisting of a walkover;

(g) Identifying the current and past uses of the property, adjoining tracts of land, and the area surrounding the property, including, without limitation, interviews with persons who reside or have resided, or who are or were employed, within the area surrounding the property regarding the current and past uses of the property and adjacent tracts of land.

The rules adopted under division (B)(3) of this section shall establish criteria to determine when a phase II property assessment shall be conducted when a phase I property assessment reveals facts that establish a reason to believe that hazardous substances or petroleum have been treated, stored, managed, or disposed of on the property if the person undertaking the phase I property assessment wishes to obtain a covenant not to sue under section 3746.12 of the Revised Code.

(4) Minimum standards for phase II property assessments. The standards shall specify the information needed to demonstrate that any contamination present at the property does not exceed applicable standards or that the remedial activities conducted at the property have achieved compliance with applicable standards. The rules adopted under division (B)(4) of this section, at a minimum, shall require that a phase II property assessment include all of the following:

(a) A review and analysis of all documentation prepared in connection with a phase I property assessment conducted within the one hundred eighty days before the phase II property assessment begins. The rules adopted under division (B)(4)(a) of this section shall require that if a period of more than one hundred eighty days has passed between the time that the phase I assessment of the property was completed and the phase II assessment begins, the phase II assessment shall include a reasonable inquiry into the change in the environmental condition of the property during the intervening period.

(b) Quality assurance objectives for measurements taken in connection with a phase II assessment;

(c) Sampling procedures to ensure the representative sampling of potentially contaminated environmental media;

(d) Quality assurance and quality control requirements for samples collected in connection with phase II assessments;

(e) Analytical and data assessment procedures;

(f) Data objectives to ensure that samples collected in connection with phase II assessments are biased toward areas where information indicates that contamination by hazardous substances or petroleum is likely to exist.

(5) Standards governing the conduct of certified professionals, criteria and procedures for the certification of professionals to issue no further action letters under section 3746.11 of the Revised Code, and criteria for the suspension and revocation of those certifications. The director shall take an action regarding a certification as a final action. The issuance, denial, renewal, suspension, and revocation of those certifications are subject to Chapter 3745. of the Revised Code, except that, in lieu of publishing an action regarding a certification in a newspaper of general circulation as required in section 3745.07 of the Revised Code, such an action shall be published on the environmental protection agency's web site and in the agency's weekly review not later than fifteen days after the date of the issuance, denial, renewal, suspension, or revocation of the certification and not later than thirty days before a hearing or public meeting concerning the action.

The rules adopted under division (B)(5) of this section shall do all of the following:

(a) Provide for the certification of environmental professionals to issue no further action letters pertaining to investigations and remedies in accordance with the criteria and procedures set forth in the rules. The rules adopted under division (B)(5)(a) of this section shall do at least all of the following:

(i) Authorize the director to consider such factors as an environmental professional's previous performance record regarding such investigations and remedies and the environmental professional's environmental compliance history when determining whether to certify the environmental professional;

(ii) Ensure that an application for certification is reviewed in a timely manner;

(iii) Require the director to certify any environmental professional who the director determines complies with those criteria;

(iv) Require the director to deny certification for any environmental professional who does not comply with those criteria.

(b) Establish an annual fee to be paid by environmental professionals certified pursuant to the rules adopted under division (B)(5)(a) of this section. The fee shall be established at an amount calculated to defray the costs to the agency for the required reviews of the qualifications of environmental professionals for certification and for the issuance of the certifications.

(c) Develop a schedule for and establish requirements governing the review by the director of the credentials of environmental professionals who were deemed to be certified professionals under division (D) of section 3746.07 of the Revised Code in order to determine if they comply with the criteria established in rules adopted under division (B)(5) of this section. The rules adopted under division (B)(5)(c) of this section shall do at least all of the following:

(i) Ensure that the review is conducted in a timely fashion;

(ii) Require the director to certify any such environmental professional who the director determines complies with those criteria;

(iii) Require any such environmental professional initially to pay the fee established in the rules adopted under division (B)(5)(b) of this section at the time that the environmental professional is so certified by the director;

(iv) Establish a time period within which any such environmental professional who does not comply with those criteria may obtain the credentials that are necessary for certification;

(v) Require the director to deny certification for any such environmental professional who does not comply with those criteria and who fails to obtain the necessary credentials within the established time period.

(d) Require that any information submitted to the director for the purposes of the rules adopted under division (B)(5)(a) or (c) of this section comply with division (A) of section 3746.20 of the Revised Code;

(e) Authorize the director to suspend or revoke the certification of an environmental professional if the director finds that the environmental professional's performance has resulted in the issuance of no further action letters under section 3746.11 of the Revised Code that are not consistent with applicable standards or finds that the certified environmental professional has not substantially complied with section 3746.31 of the Revised Code;

(f) Authorize the director to suspend for a period of not more than five years or to permanently revoke a certified environmental professional's certification for any violation of or failure to comply with an ethical standard established in rules adopted under division (B)(5) of this section;

(g) Require the director to revoke the certification of an environmental professional if the director finds that the environmental professional falsified any information on the environmental professional's application for certification regarding the environmental professional's credentials or qualifications or any other information generated for the purposes of or use under this chapter or rules adopted under it;

(h) Require the director permanently to revoke the certification of an environmental professional who has violated or is violating division (A) of section 3746.18 of the Revised Code;

(i) Preclude the director from revoking the certification of an environmental professional who only conducts investigations and remedies at property contaminated solely with petroleum unless the director first consults with the director of commerce.

(6) Criteria and procedures for the certification of laboratories to perform analyses under this chapter and rules adopted under it. The issuance, denial, suspension, and revocation of those certifications are subject to Chapter 3745. of the Revised Code, and the director of environmental protection shall take any such action regarding a certification as a final action.

The rules adopted under division (B)(6) of this section shall do all of the following:

(a) Provide for the certification to perform analyses of laboratories in accordance with the criteria and procedures established in the rules adopted under division (B)(6)(a) of this section and establish an annual fee to be paid by those laboratories. The fee shall be established at an amount calculated to defray the costs to the agency for the review of the qualifications of those laboratories for certification and for the issuance of the certifications. The rules adopted under division (B)(6)(a) of this section may provide for the certification of those laboratories to perform only particular types or categories of analyses, specific test parameters or group of test parameters, or a specific matrix or matrices under this chapter.

(b) Develop a schedule for and establish requirements governing the review by the director of the operations of laboratories that were deemed to be certified laboratories under division (E) of section 3746.07 of the Revised Code in order to determine if they comply with the criteria established in rules adopted under division (B)(6) of this section. The rules adopted under division (B)(6)(b) of this section shall do at least all of the following:

(i) Ensure that the review is conducted in a timely fashion;

(ii) Require the director to certify any such laboratory that the director determines complies with those criteria;

(iii) Require any such laboratory initially to pay the fee established in the rules adopted under division (B)(6)(a) of this section at the time that the laboratory is so certified by the director;

(iv) Establish a time period within which any such laboratory that does not comply with those criteria may make changes in its operations necessary for the performance of analyses under this chapter and rules adopted under it in order to be certified by the director;

(v) Require the director to deny certification for any such laboratory that does not comply with those criteria and that fails to make the necessary changes in its operations within the established time period.

(c) Require that any information submitted to the director for the purposes of the rules adopted under division (B)(6)(a) or (b) of this section comply with division (A) of section 3746.20 of the Revised Code;

(d) Authorize the director to suspend or revoke the certification of a laboratory if the director finds that the laboratory's performance has resulted in the issuance of no further action letters under section 3746.11 of the Revised Code that are not consistent with applicable standards;

(e) Authorize the director to suspend or revoke the certification of a laboratory if the director finds that the laboratory falsified any information on its application for certification regarding its credentials or qualifications;

(f) Require the director permanently to revoke the certification of a laboratory that has violated or is violating division (A) of section 3746.18 of the Revised Code.

(7) Information to be included in a no further action letter prepared under section 3746.11 of the Revised Code, including, without limitation, all of the following:

(a) A summary of the information required to be submitted to the certified environmental professional preparing the no further action letter under division (C) of section 3746.10 of the Revised Code;

(b) Notification that a risk assessment was performed in accordance with rules adopted under division (B)(2) of this section if such an assessment was used in lieu of generic numerical clean-up standards established in rules adopted under division (B)(1) of this section;

(c) The contaminants addressed at the property, if any, their source, if known, and their levels prior to remediation;

(d) The identity of any other person who performed work to support the request for the no further action letter as provided in division (B)(2) of section 3746.10 of the Revised Code and the nature and scope of the work performed by that person;

(e) A list of the data, information, records, and documents relied upon by the certified environmental professional in preparing the no further action letter.

(8) Methods for determining fees to be paid for the following services provided by the agency under this chapter and rules adopted under it:

(a) Site- or property-specific technical assistance in developing or implementing plans in connection with a voluntary action;

(b) Reviewing applications for and issuing consolidated standards permits under section 3746.15 of the Revised Code and monitoring compliance with those permits;

(c) Negotiating, preparing, and entering into agreements necessary for the implementation and administration of this chapter and rules adopted under it;

(d) Reviewing no further action letters, issuing covenants not to sue, and monitoring compliance with any terms and conditions of those covenants and with operation and maintenance agreements entered into pursuant to those covenants, including, without limitation, conducting audits of properties where voluntary actions are being or were conducted under this chapter and rules adopted under it.

The fees established pursuant to the rules adopted under division (B)(8) of this section shall be at a level sufficient to defray the direct and indirect costs incurred by the agency for the administration and enforcement of this chapter and rules adopted under it other than the provisions regarding the certification of professionals and laboratories.

(9) Criteria for selecting the no further action letters issued under section 3746.11 of the Revised Code that will be audited under section 3746.17 of the Revised Code, and the scope and procedures for conducting those audits. The rules adopted under division (B)(9) of this section, at a minimum, shall require the director to establish priorities for auditing no further action letters to which any of the following applies:

(a) The letter was prepared by an environmental professional who was deemed to be a certified professional under division (D) of section 3746.07 of the Revised Code, but who does not comply with the criteria established in rules adopted under division (B)(5) of this section as determined pursuant to rules adopted under division (B)(5)(d) of this section;

(b) The letter was submitted fraudulently;

(c) The letter was prepared by a certified environmental professional whose certification subsequently was revoked in accordance with rules adopted under division (B)(5) of this section, or analyses were performed for the purposes of the no further action letter by a certified laboratory whose certification subsequently was revoked in accordance with rules adopted under division (B)(6) of this section;

(d) A covenant not to sue that was issued pursuant to the letter was revoked under this chapter;

(e) The letter was for a voluntary action that was conducted pursuant to a risk assessment in accordance with rules adopted under division (B)(2) of this section;

(f) The letter was for a voluntary action that included as remedial activities engineering controls or institutional controls or activity and use limitations authorized under section 3746.05 of the Revised Code.

The rules adopted under division (B)(9) of this section shall provide for random audits of no further action letters to which the rules adopted under divisions (B)(9)(a) to (f) of this section do not apply.

(10) A classification system to characterize ground water according to its capability to be used for human use and its impact on the environment and a methodology that shall be used to determine when ground water that has become contaminated from sources on a property for which a covenant not to sue is requested under section 3746.11 of the Revised Code shall be remediated to the standards established in the rules adopted under division (B)(1) or (2) of this section.

(a) In adopting rules under division (B)(10) of this section to characterize ground water according to its capability for human use, the director shall consider all of the following:

(i) The presence of legally enforceable, reliable restrictions on the use of ground water, including, without limitation, local rules or ordinances;

(ii) The presence of regional commingled contamination from multiple sources that diminishes the quality of ground water;

(iii) The natural quality of ground water;

(iv) Regional availability of ground water and reasonable alternative sources of drinking water;

(v) The productivity of the aquifer;

(vi) The presence of restrictions on the use of ground water implemented under this chapter and rules adopted under it;

(vii) The existing use of ground water.

(b) In adopting rules under division (B)(10) of this section to characterize ground water according to its impacts on the environment, the director shall consider both of the following:

(i) The risks posed to humans, fauna, surface water, sediments, soil, air, and other resources by the continuing presence of contaminated ground water;

(ii) The availability and feasibility of technology to remedy ground water contamination.

(11) Governing the application for and issuance of variances under section 3746.09 of the Revised Code;

(12)

(a) In the case of voluntary actions involving contaminated ground water, specifying the circumstances under which the generic numerical clean-up standards established in rules adopted under division (B)(1) of this section and standards established through a risk assessment conducted pursuant to rules adopted under division (B)(2) of this section shall be inapplicable to the remediation of contaminated ground water and under which the standards for remediating contaminated ground water shall be established on a case-by-case basis prior to the commencement of the voluntary action pursuant to rules adopted under division (B)(12)(b) of this section;

(b) Criteria and procedures for the case-by-case establishment of standards for the remediation of contaminated ground water under circumstances in which the use of the generic numerical clean-up standards and standards established through a risk assessment are precluded by the rules adopted under division (B)(12)(a) of this section. The rules governing the procedures for the case-by-case development of standards for the remediation of contaminated ground water shall establish application, public participation, adjudication, and appeals requirements and procedures that are equivalent to the requirements and procedures established in section 3746.09 of the Revised Code and rules adopted under division (B)(11) of this section, except that the procedural rules shall not require an applicant to make the demonstrations set forth in divisions (A)(1) to (3) of section 3746.09 of the Revised Code.

(13) A definition of the evidence that constitutes sufficient evidence for the purpose of division (A)(5) of section 3746.02 of the Revised Code.

At least thirty days before filing the proposed rules required to be adopted under this section with the secretary of state, director of the legislative service commission, and joint committee on agency rule review in accordance with divisions (B) and (C) of section 119.03 of the Revised Code, the director of environmental protection shall hold at least one public meeting on the proposed rules in each of the five districts into which the agency has divided the state for administrative purposes.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 3, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §1, eff. 6/30/2011.

Effective Date: 12-02-1996; 12-30-2004; 09-29-2005