Top 10 Amendments to the Connecticut RSRs

July 18, 2013

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Bob Bristol, PG, LEP, GeoInsight Senior Hydrogeologist

On June 27, 2013, Connecticut adopted some long-awaited amendments to the State’s cleanup regulations.  The Remediation Standard Regulations (RSRs) and Environmental Land Use Restriction (ELUR) regulations had not been formally updated since they were first implemented in January 1996.  According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP), the amendments are intended to help streamline the regulatory closure of sites with soil and groundwater contamination.

 

Top 10 Regulatory Changes

The 10 amendments to the RSRs most likely to affect our clients include:

1.

Applicability

The applicability of the RSRs was expanded to also include solid waste landfills.

2.

Incidental Sources

Soil and groundwater criteria no longer apply to hydrocarbons (ETPH and SVOCs) and metals if those compounds are attributed to either incidental releases from motor vehicles (excluding refueling and maintenance) or from normal paving operations.

3.

Inaccessible Soil

For polluted fill material, compliance with the Direct Exposure Criteria (DEC) is no longer required if the material is located beneath pavement and the impacts are limited to normal constituents of asphalt (i.e., ETPH and SVOCs) or to metals at concentrations less than 2 times the DEC.

4.

Groundwater Monitoring

Following remediation, only four quarters of ground water monitoring within criteria are now required.  This change can significantly reduce the amount of monitoring required for sites located in both GA and GB classified areas.  In addition, groundwater monitoring is no longer required in cases where the soil is only remediated to comply with the DEC.

5.

ETPH Groundwater Criterion

The Groundwater Protection Criterion (GWPC) for extractable total petroleum hydrocarbons (ETPH) was increased from 100 ppb to 250 ppb, making it easier to close out sites with petroleum releases.

6.

Lead Criterion

Although the Residential DEC for lead was reduced from 500 ppm to 400 ppm, the higher value can still be used if remediation is completed by June 2015, and as long as either remediation had already been initiated or a remedial action plan completed by June 2013.

7.

Bedrock Exception

If the water table is located within the bedrock, groundwater in GB classified areas no longer needs to be remediated to the more stringent GA standards (i.e., GWPC).

8.

Soil Exposed to Infiltration

Except for volatile compounds, the Pollutant Mobility Criteria (PMC) no longer apply if the soil has been exposed to sufficient surface infiltration and the groundwater meets applicable criteria.

9.

Statistical Analysis

Statistical methods (i.e., 95-UCL) for soil can now be used to comply with the DEC and PMC, even when some samples exceed more than 2 times those criteria, and even in cases where soil excavation has been conducted.  In addition, statistical methods for groundwater can now be used to comply with the Surface Water Protection Criteria (SWPC).

10.

ELURs 

An application form can now be submitted to the CTDEEP to help streamline the implementation of ELURs.