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Not Subject to TRRP: A Cost-Effective Alternative to Remediation & Closure

The Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP) Rule (30 TAC Chapter 350) establishes criteria for determining if a release is subject to remediation and regulatory controls. If an investigation is conducted on a property with a suspected release and concentrations are below TCEQ’s critical assessment levels, the property may not be subject to TRRP. In other words, TCEQ is not considering the Site as contaminated (i.e., an Affected Property) and no response action is needed. If the property were impacted it would need to be further assessed and remediated through a Texas remediation program such as Corrective Action, Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), etc.

The Not Subject to TRRP option comes into play when the consultant performs a Phase II Investigation and determines that the Site is not contaminated. The Not Subject to TRRP request is NOT required but is an option if the property owner needs the concurrence of the TCEQ. This generally occurs on sites of higher value and in this case was requested by the lender. The Not Subject to TRRP submittal is reviewed by TCEQ and if the case meets the TCEQ’s approval, the Responsible Party (RP) will be issued a No Further Action letter. One of the key challenges to this process with urban properties are low concentrations of metals in the soil such as arsenic and lead. The baseline assessment levels for arsenic and lead are low and concentrations are typically higher in urban soils than TCEQ limits (i. e., 5.9 mg/kg for arsenic and 15 mg/kg for lead). In these cases, we may have to determine Site-specific “background” concentrations of specific metals to show that the general area has higher concentrations of metals than the baseline assessment levels. 

Whitehead E. S. recently helped a property owner in Carrollton, Texas receive a No Further Action letter using the Not Subject to TRRP review. The Site historically operated as an industrial manufacturing warehouse for windows, doors, and aluminum parts, and the previous owners had registered as a generator of hazardous waste. The Limited Phase II Investigation included soil and groundwater sampling along with off-Site sampling to establish a lead background concentration since lead in the soil was above the TCEQ critical assessment level. Although our assessments indicated that the former on-Site facility had not impacted the Site, the lender needed further verification. This verification came with TCEQ’s issuance of a No Further Action letter. 

Now that the Site has received a clean bill of health from the TCEQ, the property owner has been able to get the necessary funding and is working to re-develop the property. At Whitehead E. S., we work hard to find cost-effective “Solutions to Your Pollution”!

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