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State Remediation Program

The State Remediation Program (SRP) was established in 1994 within the Division of Solid Waste Management for the purpose of providing owners, prospective purchasers and other interested parties the means to voluntarily investigate, clean up or monitor contaminated sites not regulated under RCRA, CERCLA or the Tennessee Division of Underground Tanks (UST). The goal of the program is to provide fair, comprehensive and consistent regulation of the investigation and remediation of contaminated sites in a timely and cost effective manner consistent with other State and Federal programs. To streamline the process, and to ensure consistent interpretation and application of program policies and procedures, program participants work with a single point of contact to address contaminated sites. Once a determination is made as to the level of risk a site poses to human health and the environment, a remedy is chosen that is effective and protective, but not overly burdensome to the parties involved. The program provides the flexible framework necessary for both the regulator and the program participant to work cooperatively toward the same objective.

In response to the passage of Tennessee’s first Brownfield’s Law by the Tennessee General Assembly in July, 2001, the SRP established a Brownfields Program wherein participants can receive liability protection for contamination that is identified and addressed at sites under the new Brownfields Law. The law was enacted to promote redevelopment, expansion or reuse of contaminated or potentially contaminated industrial and commercial facilities throughout the State. Prior to the Brownfields Law, developers shied away from brownfields redevelopment because complex liability issues made it difficult to assign responsibility for contamination and determine who must pay for its clean up. The Tennessee Brownfields Law not only provides liability protection to potential purchasers of contaminated property, it also insures that the future use of the property will not pose a risk to the public. Liability protections extend to successors in interest or in title, contractors conducting response actions at the site, developers, future owners, tenants, and lenders, fiduciaries or insurers, conditioned upon performance of the voluntary agreement and compliance with any land use restrictions, provided that these persons held no liability prior to the agreement. Click here for the SRP’s Brownfield Manual.

SRP Objectives

The SRP provides technical oversight for the investigation and remediation of a broad range of contaminated sites on a statewide basis, including sites contaminated with hazardous or solid waste and/or petroleum hydrocarbons and ensures that those investigations and remedial activities are conducted in a manner that adequately protects human health and the environment.

The objectives of the program include:

 * To provide a systematic, consistent set of procedures for program participants and their environmental consultants to investigate, remediate and monitor contaminated sites.

  • To support the reuse and redevelopment of contaminated sites through its Brownfields Program
  • To encourage voluntary responses to contamination discovered on properties within the State
  • To characterize and evaluate the impacts from releases of hazardous material to the environment
  • To determine whether remedial action is warranted under the program
  • To require and oversee the implementation of remedial actions designed to minimize, or eliminate, the impacts from releases of hazardous materials
  • To effectively track documentation and activities of all sites in the program
  • To foster public awareness and involvement at all levels of the program process

Sites Eligible for Entry into SRP

  • Sites contaminated with hazardous waste but not seeking RCRA permit or interim status
  • Non-permitted sites contaminated with solid waste (old dump sites)
  • Petroleum contaminated sites (where contamination is from non-registered underground or aboveground petroleum storage tanks)
  • Contamination from EPA registered chemical underground storage tanks
  • Participants seeking Brownfield liability protection for a project through a Voluntary Agreement or Consent Order with the State in exchange for the voluntary cleanup of a contaminated site.

Implementation Elements

The SRP operates through a series of Memorandums of Understanding with EPA Region 4 and other department divisions:

MOA with EPA Region 4 (RCRA) – Tennessee is an authorized State under Section 3006 of the RCRA Act of 1976, and can establish policies and procedures for sites requiring corrective action. The SRP is utilized for corrective action at hazardous waste sites not seeking a RCRA permit or having interim status.

MOA with UST (Tennessee Division of Underground Storage Tanks) – giving SRP authority to manage all petroleum contaminated sites not regulated by TDUST.

MOU with EPA Region 4 (Chemical Underground Storage Tanks, Subtitle I) – giving SRP authority to oversee corrective action at all sites where contamination was caused by leaking registered chemical underground storage tank.

SRP Funding

The SRP is self supporting, and all technical and administrative staff are funded by program participants. Participants in the program are assessed specific costs based upon the phase of investigation or remediation that is being currently addressed by the facility, with each succeeding phase of work incurring an additional cost recovery assessment. This eliminates the need for expenditures of State funds for remedial/Brownfield projects.

Available Publications

  • State Remediation Program’s Standard Operating Procedures
  • State Remediation Program’s Processes and Procedures
  • State Remediation Program’s Brownfield Manual
  • State Remediation Program’s Cost Recovery Policy