Oregon Statutes - Chapter 465 - Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials I - Section 465.315 - Standards for degree of cleanup required; Hazard Index; risk protocol; hot spots of contamination; exemption; rules.

(1)(a) Any removal or remedial action performed under the provisions of ORS 465.200 to 465.545 and 465.900 shall attain a degree of cleanup of the hazardous substance and control of further release of the hazardous substance that assures protection of present and future public health, safety and welfare and of the environment.

(b) The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall select or approve remedial actions that are protective of human health and the environment. The protectiveness of a remedial action shall be determined based on application of both of the following:

(A) The acceptable risk level for exposures. For protection of humans, the acceptable risk level for exposure to individual carcinogens shall be a lifetime excess cancer risk of one per one million people exposed, and the acceptable risk level for exposure to noncarcinogens shall be the exposure that results in a Hazard Index number equal to or less than one. “Hazard Index number” means a number equal to the sum of the noncarcinogenic risks (hazard quotient) attributable to systemic toxicants with similar toxic endpoints. For protection of ecological receptors, if a release of hazardous substances causes or is reasonably likely to cause significant adverse impacts to the health or viability of a species listed as threatened or endangered pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. or ORS 496.172, or a population of plants or animals in the locality of the facility, the acceptable risk level shall be the point before such significant adverse impacts occur.

(B) A risk assessment undertaken in accordance with the risk protocol established by the Environmental Quality Commission in accordance with subsection (2)(a) of this section.

(c) A remedial action may achieve protection of human health and the environment through:

(A) Treatment that eliminates or reduces the toxicity, mobility or volume of hazardous substances;

(B) Excavation and off-site disposal;

(C) Containment or other engineering controls;

(D) Institutional controls;

(E) Any other method of protection; or

(F) A combination of the above.

(d) The method of remediation appropriate for a specific facility shall be determined through an evaluation of remedial alternatives and a selection process to be established pursuant to rules adopted by the commission. The director shall select or approve a protective alternative that balances the following factors:

(A) The effectiveness of the remedy in achieving protection;

(B) The technical and practical implementability of the remedy;

(C) The long term reliability of the remedy;

(D) Any short term risk from implementing the remedy posed to the community, to those engaged in the implementation of the remedy and to the environment; and

(E) The reasonableness of the cost of the remedy. The cost of a remedial action shall not be considered reasonable if the costs are disproportionate to the benefits created through risk reduction or risk management. Subject to the preference for treatment of hot spots, when two or more remedial action alternatives are protective as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the least expensive remedial action shall be preferred unless the additional cost of a more expensive alternative is justified by proportionately greater benefits within one or more of the factors set forth in subparagraphs (A) to (D) of this paragraph. The director shall use a higher threshold for evaluating the reasonableness of the costs for treating hot spots than for remediation of areas other than hot spots.

(e) For contamination constituting a hot spot as defined by the commission pursuant to subsection (2)(b) of this section, the director shall select or approve a remedial action requiring treatment of the hot spot contamination unless treatment is not feasible considering the factors set forth in paragraph (d) of this subsection. For contamination constituting a hot spot under subsection (2)(b)(A) of this section, the director shall evaluate, with the same preference as treatment, the excavation and off-site disposal of the contamination at a facility authorized for such disposal under state or federal law. For excavation and off-site disposal of contamination that is a hazardous waste as described in ORS 466.005, the director shall consider the method and distance for transportation of the contamination to available disposal facilities in selecting or approving a remedial action that is protective under subsection (1)(d) of this section. If requested by the responsible party or recommended by the Department of Environmental Quality, the director may select or approve excavation and off-site disposal as the remedial action for contamination constituting a hot spot under subsection (2)(b)(A) of this section.

(f) The Department of Environmental Quality shall develop or identify generic remedies for common categories of facilities considering the balancing factors set forth in paragraph (d) of this subsection. The department’s development of generic remedies shall take into consideration demonstrated remedial actions and technologies and scientific and engineering evaluation of performance data. Where a generic remedy would be protective and satisfy the balancing factors under paragraph (d) of this subsection at a specific facility, the director may select or approve the generic remedy for that site on a streamlined basis with a limited evaluation of other remedial alternatives.

(g) Subject to paragraphs (b) and (d) of this subsection, in selecting or approving a remedial action, the director shall consider current and reasonably anticipated future land uses at the facility and surrounding properties, taking into account current land use zoning, other land use designations, land use plans as established in local comprehensive plans and land use implementing regulations of any governmental body having land use jurisdiction, and concerns of the facility owner, neighboring owners and the community.

(2) The commission shall adopt rules:

(a) Establishing a risk protocol for conducting risk assessments. The risk protocol shall:

(A) Require consideration of existing and reasonably likely future human exposures and significant adverse effects to ecological receptor health and viability, both in a baseline risk assessment and in an assessment of residual risk after a remedial action;

(B) Require risk assessments to include reasonable estimates of plausible upper-bound exposures that neither grossly underestimate nor grossly overestimate risks;

(C) Require risk assessments to consider, to the extent practicable, the range of probabilities of risks actually occurring, the range of size of the populations likely to be exposed to the risk, current and reasonably likely future land uses, and quantitative and qualitative descriptions of uncertainties;

(D) Identify appropriate sources of toxicity information;

(E) Define the use of probabilistic modeling;

(F) Identify criteria for the selection and application of fate and transport models;

(G) Define the use of high-end and central-tendency exposure cases and assumptions;

(H) Define the use of population risk estimates in addition to individual risk estimates;

(I) To the extent deemed appropriate and feasible by the commission considering available scientific information, define appropriate approaches for addressing cumulative risks posed by multiple contaminants or multiple exposure pathways, including how the acceptable risk levels set forth in subsection (1)(b)(A) of this section shall be applied in relation to cumulative risks; and

(J) Establish appropriate sampling approaches and data quality requirements.

(b) Defining hot spots of contamination. The definition of hot spots shall include:

(A) Hazardous substances that are present in high concentrations, are highly mobile or cannot be reliably contained, and that would present a risk to human health or the environment exceeding the acceptable risk level if exposure occurs.

(B) Concentrations of hazardous substances in ground water or surface water that have a significant adverse effect on existing or reasonably likely future beneficial uses of the water and for which treatment is reasonably likely to restore or protect such beneficial use within a reasonable time.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the director may exempt the on-site portion of any removal or remedial action conducted under ORS 465.200 to 465.545 and 465.900 from any requirement of ORS 466.005 to 466.385 and ORS chapters 459, 468, 468A and 468B. Without affecting substantive requirements, no state or local permit, license or other authorization shall be required for, and no procedural requirements shall apply to, the portion of any removal or remedial action conducted on-site where such removal or remedial action has been selected or approved by the director under this section, unless the permit, license, authorization or procedural requirement is necessary to preserve or obtain federal authorization of a state program or the person performing a removal or remedial action elects to obtain the permit, license or authorization or comply with the procedural requirement. The person performing a removal or remedial action shall notify the appropriate state or local governmental body of the permits, licenses, authorizations or procedural requirements waived under this subsection and, at the request of the governmental body, pay applicable fees. Any costs paid as a fee to a governmental body under this subsection shall not also be recoverable by the governmental body as remedial action costs.

(4) Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (3) of this section, any on-site treatment, storage or disposal of a hazardous substance shall comply with the standard established under subsection (1)(a) of this section and any activities conducted in a public right of way under a removal or remedial action pursuant to this section shall comply with the requirements of the applicable jurisdiction.

(5) Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of the director to undertake, order or authorize an interim or emergency removal action.

(6) Nothing in this section or in rules adopted pursuant to this section shall prohibit the application of rules in effect on July 18, 1995, that use numeric soil cleanup standards to govern remediation of motor fuel and heating oil releases from underground storage tanks. [Formerly 466.573; 1993 c.560 §102; 1995 c.662 §1; 1999 c.740 §1; 2003 c.14 §298]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008