Article 6. Streamlined Site Investigation And Response Plan Agreements of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 20. >> Chapter 6.82. >> Article 6.
(a) Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
article, the definitions in Article 2 (commencing with Section
25395.63) apply to the terms used in this article.
(b) "Action level" has the same meaning as defined in paragraph
(1) of subdivision (c) of Section 116455.
(c) "Host jurisdiction" means the city or county in which the site
is located and which has the authority to take action regarding the
site pursuant to Title 7 (commencing with Section 65000) of the
(d) "Unreasonable risk" at a site means that a condition at a site
requires a response action pursuant to Chapter 6.8 (commencing with
Section 25300) of this code or Division 7 (commencing with Section
13000) of the Water Code.
(a) Only the following are eligible to enter into an
agreement pursuant to this article:
(1) A bona fide purchaser, innocent landowner, or contiguous
property owner who meets the requirements specified in Section
(2) A prospective purchaser who is in contract to acquire a site
through a purchase agreement, option agreement, or otherwise, and
satisfies the requirements of Section 25395.69, except for any
provision that requires current ownership of the site. However, a
prospective purchaser who enters into an agreement pursuant to this
article shall not receive the immunities provided in Section 25395.81
until the time that the prospective purchaser acquires the site.
(b) An agreement entered under this article is not subject to
Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10290) of Part 2 of Division 2 of
the Public Contract Code, including, but not limited to, Section
10295 of the Public Contract Code.
(a) A bona fide purchaser, innocent landowner, or
contiguous property owner who seeks to qualify for the immunity
provided by this chapter shall enter into an agreement with an agency
pursuant to this article that includes the performance of a site
assessment, and, if the agency determines that a response plan is
necessary pursuant to Section 25395.96, the preparation and
implementation of a response plan.
(b) Before finalizing the agreement, the requested agency shall
notify other appropriate agencies, including the host jurisdiction.
(c) A person who enters into an agreement with an agency pursuant
to this section shall submit sufficient information to the agency for
the agency to determine whether the site is an eligible site,
whether the person meets the conditions to qualify as a bona fide
purchaser, innocent landowner, or contiguous property owner pursuant
to this chapter, and to prepare an agreement pursuant to this
(d) (1) A person who enters into an agreement pursuant to this
section shall agree to take all actions required for a response
action pursuant to Chapter 6.8 (commencing with Section 25300) and
Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code. These
actions may include actions necessary to prevent an unreasonable risk
before the approval of a response plan.
(2) In determining whether there is unreasonable risk at a site
for purposes of this subdivision, the agency shall take into account
the intended use of the property, in accordance with any changed use
of the property, as specified in subdivision (d) of Section 25395.96.
(a) A person may withdraw from an agreement entered into
pursuant to this article by providing a 30-day written notice to the
agency and doing both of the following:
(1) Reimbursing the agency for all costs incurred by the agency
pursuant to the agreement.
(2) Demonstrating to the satisfaction of the agency that
conditions at the site to which the agreement applies do not pose an
endangerment to public health and safety or the environment. If the
agency determines that conditions at the site pose an endangerment to
public health, safety, or the environment, this article does not
prevent the agency from exercising its authority to take appropriate
response actions or to cause the person or persons responsible for
the endangerment to take appropriate response actions.
(b) A person who enters into an agreement with an agency pursuant
to this article shall reimburse the agency for all agency costs,
including, but not limited to, costs incurred while reviewing a site
assessment plan or a response plan or overseeing the implementation
of a site assessment or response plan by the person pursuant to this
article, except that the department's costs shall be reimbursed
pursuant to Chapter 6.66 (commencing with Section 25269) and shall be
recoverable pursuant to Section 25360.
(c) The entry into an agreement pursuant to this article shall not
constitute an admission of fact or liability or conclusion of law
for any purpose or proceeding and a person who enters into an
agreement under this article shall not be deemed liable under any
other provision of law solely by reason of entering into that
(d) If the conditions described in paragraph (1) of subdivision
(c) of Section 25395.81 or in subdivision (d) of Section 25395.81
occur, an agency may withdraw from an agreement entered into pursuant
to this chapter by providing a 30-day written notice to the other
(a) (1) A person who enters into an agreement pursuant to
this article with an agency for the oversight of a site assessment
shall submit a site assessment plan to the agency to conduct a site
assessment of the site in accordance with the requirements of this
(2) If the agency requires a health risk assessment as part of
that agreement, the health assessment shall be prepared in accordance
with subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) of Section 25356.1.5.
(b) The site assessment plan shall provide for the evaluation of
all of the following:
(1) Whether a release of hazardous materials has occurred at the
site, a threat of a release of hazardous materials exists at the
site, or there is a threat of a release of hazardous materials from
(2) If a release or threatened release of hazardous materials
exists at the site or there is a release or a threatened release from
the site, whether the release or threatened release poses an
unreasonable risk to public health and safety or the environment.
(c) The site assessment plan shall also include all of the
(1) Adequate characterization of the hazardous materials released
or threatened to be released at, or from, the site and documentation
of the findings.
(2) Reasonably available information about the site, including,
where appropriate, a risk assessment that evaluates the risk posed by
any hazardous materials released or threatened to be released at, or
from, the site, and information regarding reasonably anticipated
foreseeable uses of the site based on current and projected land use
and zoning designations.
(3) If the release has impacted groundwater, reasonable
characterization of underlying groundwater, including present and
anticipated beneficial uses of that water.
(d) A person shall submit the site assessment plan to the agency
for review and approval.
(e) The agency shall evaluate the adequacy of the site assessment
plan to ensure that it contains all necessary information.
(f) After evaluating the site assessment plan, if the agency finds
that the site assessment plan is adequate, the agency shall approve
the site assessment plan and provide notification to appropriate
persons, including notification of any public water system that
relies on impacted groundwater for public drinking water purposes.
(a) After implementation of the site assessment plan, the
person shall submit to the agency a report of the findings made
pursuant to the plan. Based upon a review of this information, the
agency shall determine whether a response action is necessary to
address any unreasonable risk from hazardous materials at the site.
(b) If the agency determines that there is no unreasonable risk at
the site and that there are no hazardous materials at the site at
levels that are not suitable for unrestricted use of the site, the
agency shall make a finding that no further action is necessary at
(c) If the agency determines that there are hazardous materials at
the site at levels that are not suitable for unrestricted use, but
that are suitable for the reasonably anticipated foreseeable use of
the site based on current and projected land use and zoning
designations, the agency shall find that no further action is
necessary at the site except that a land use control that imposes
appropriate restrictions pursuant to Section 25395.99 shall be
executed and recorded and the public comment and participation
requirements of Section 25395.96 shall be met before the execution
and recording of any land use control. On or before 15 days after the
date when the land use control is recorded pursuant to Section
25395.99, the agency shall state in writing that this act constitutes
"appropriate care" for the purposes of Section 25395.67.
(a) If, upon review of the site assessment prepared
pursuant to this article, the agency determines that a response
action is necessary to prevent or eliminate an unreasonable risk, the
bona fide purchaser, innocent landowner, or contiguous property
owner shall submit a response plan to the agency to conduct a
response action at the site, in conformance with the agreement
entered into pursuant to Section 25395.92. The response plan shall
include all of the following:
(1) The response plan shall provide for an opportunity for the
public, other agencies, and the host jurisdiction to participate in
decisions regarding the response action, taking into consideration
the nature of the community interest, and shall include all of the
(A) Thirty days before taking action pursuant to the response
plan, the agency shall take all of the following actions:
(i) Notify all other appropriate governmental entities and local
agencies, including, but not limited to, the department, the regional
board, or a redevelopment agency, that is not a party to the
response plan regarding the proposed response plan.
(ii) Place a notice in a newspaper of general circulation, in the
area of the site, including, but not limited to, a community-based
newspaper, as appropriate.
(iii) Post notice of the proposed response plan on the site.
(B) All of the following methods for public participation shall be
included in the response plan:
(i) Thirty days' prior public notice in a factsheet format of the
proposed response plan, in English and in any other language commonly
spoken in the area of the site.
(ii) Access, at both the agency and at local repositories, to the
proposed response plan, site assessment, addenda, and any other
supporting documentation, including materials listed as references in
the response plan and site assessment.
(iii) Procedures for providing a reasonable opportunity to comment
on the plan and related documents specified in clause (ii).
(iv) If a public meeting is requested, the holding of a public
meeting by the agency in the area to receive comments.
(v) The agency's consideration of any comments received before
taking any action regarding the response plan.
(C) The response plan may also provide for, but is not limited to,
proposing the use of other methods for public participation,
including the use of public notices, direct notification of
interested parties, electronic copies of the response plan, site
assessment addenda, and other supporting documentation, including
materials listed as references in the response plan and site
assessment, electronic comment forms, forming advisory groups, as
appropriate, to disseminate information and assist the agency in
gathering public input, additional public meetings or public
hearings, and an opportunity to comment on the proposed response plan
prior to approval.
(D) The agency, as part of its communications with affected
communities, shall provide information regarding the process by which
decisions about the site are made and the recourse that is available
for those who may disagree with an agency decision.
(E) The agency shall consider the issue of environmental justice,
as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 65040.12 of the Government
Code, for communities most impacted, including low-income and racial
minority populations before taking action on the response plan.
(F) To the extent possible, the agency shall coordinate its public
participation activities with those undertaken by the host
jurisdiction and other agencies associated with the development of
the property, to avoid duplication to the extent feasible.
(G) It is the intent of the Legislature that the public
participation process established pursuant to this paragraph ensures
full and robust participation of a community affected by this
(2) Identification of the release or threatened release that is
the subject of the response plan and documentation that the plan is
based on an adequate characterization of the site.
(3) An identification of the response plan objectives and the
proposed remedy, and an identification of the reasonably anticipated
future land uses of the site and of the current and projected land
use and zoning designations. This identification shall include
confirmation by the host jurisdiction that the anticipated future
land uses and current and projected land uses and zoning designations
(4) A description of activities that will be implemented to
control any endangerment that may occur during the response action at
(5) A description of any land use control that is part of the
(6) A description of wastes other than hazardous materials at the
site and how they will be managed in conjunction with the response
(7) Provisions for the removal of containment or storage vessels
and other sources of contamination, including soils and free product,
that cause an unreasonable risk.
(8) Provisions for the agency to require further response actions
based on the discovery of hazardous materials that pose an
unreasonable risk to human health and safety or the environment that
are discovered during the course of the response action or subsequent
development of the site.
(9) Any other information that the agency determines is necessary.
(b) The agency shall evaluate the adequacy of the plan submitted
pursuant to subdivision (a) and shall approve the plan if the agency
makes all of the following findings:
(1) The plan contains the information required by subdivision (a).
(2) When implemented, the plan will place the site in a condition
that allows it to be used for its reasonably anticipated future land
use without unreasonable risk to human health and safety and the
(3) The plan addresses any public comments.
(4) If applicable, the plan provides for long-term operation and
maintenance, including land use and engineering controls, that are
part of the remedy contained in the response plan.
(c) (1) On or before 60 days after the date an agency receives a
response plan, the agency shall make a written determination that
proper completion of the response plan constitutes "appropriate care"
for purposes of subdivision (a) of Section 25395.67.
(2) Upon approval of the response plan by the agency, the agency
shall notify all appropriate persons, including the host
(d) If the use of the property changes, after a response plan is
approved, to a use that requires a higher level of protection, the
agency may require the preparation and implementation of a new
response plan pursuant to this article.
(e) The owner of a site shall not make any change in use of a site
inconsistent with any land use control recorded for the site, unless
the change is approved by the agency in accordance with subdivision
(f) of Section 25395.99.
(a) Except as provided in Section 25395.99, the agency
shall issue a certificate of completion upon determining that all
response actions have been satisfactorily completed in accordance
with an approved response plan.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the agency shall issue a
certificate of completion when a response action plan includes
long-term obligations that have not been completed, including
operation and maintenance requirements or monitoring, only if the
agency makes all of the following determinations:
(1) All response actions, other than long-term operation and
maintenance at the site, have been completed.
(2) The person has submitted an adequate long-term operation and
maintenance plan and has demonstrated initial compliance.
(c) If the agency determines that long-term operation and
maintenance is required at a site, the agency may, as a condition of
issuing a certificate of completion, enter into an operation and
maintenance agreement with the person that governs the long-term
operation and maintenance activities and that provides for adequate
A person who acquires a property from an innocent
landowner, bona fide purchaser, or contiguous property owner, and the
property was previously issued a certificate of completion or no
further action determination, may qualify as a bona fide prospective
purchaser or contiguous property owner by demonstrating to the agency
that the person meets all of the qualifying conditions of Section
25395.80 and either Section 25395.69 or 25395.70, as applicable.
(a) A response plan may require the use of a land use
control that imposes appropriate conditions, restrictions, and
obligations on land use or activities, if, after completion of the
removal and remedial actions specified in the response plan,
hazardous materials remain at the site at a level that is not
suitable for the unrestricted use of the site.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), if the agency approves
a response plan that requires the use of a land use control, the land
use control shall be executed by the landowner and recorded by the
landowner in the office of the county recorder in each county in
which all, or a portion of, the land is located within 10 days of the
date of execution.
(c) An agency shall not issue a certificate of completion to a
person who submits a response plan that is approved by the agency and
that requires the use of a land use control, until the agency
receives a certified copy of the recorded land use control. If the
site that requires the land use control does not have an owner, or
the agency determines the owner is incapable of executing a land use
control in accordance with this section, the agency may record in the
county records a "Notice of Land Use Restriction" that has the same
effect as any other land use control executed pursuant to this
section, and that is subject to the variance and termination
procedures specified in subdivision (f).
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a land use control
that is executed pursuant to this section and that is recorded so as
to provide constructive notice shall run with the land from the date
of recordation, is binding upon all of the owners of the land, and
their heirs, successors and assignees, and the agents, employees, or
lessees of the owners, heirs, successors and assignees, and is
enforceable pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 25180) of
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a land use control
executed pursuant to this section is subject to Section 57012.
(f) A land use control imposed pursuant to this section is subject
to the variance and removal procedures specified in Sections 25223
To the extent consistent with the Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act of 1976, as amended, (42 U.S.C. Sec. 6901 et seq.),
the department may exclude any portion of a response action conducted
entirely onsite from the hazardous waste facilities permit
requirements of Sections 25200.3, 25201, and 25201.6, if both of the
(a) The response action is carried out pursuant to an approved
(b) The response plan specifies that the response action will be
conducted in compliance with the standards, requirements, criteria,
or limitations applicable to the construction, operation, and closure
of the type of facility at the site, as necessary to prevent an
unreasonable risk to public health and safety or the environment and
any other condition imposed by the agency.
(a) Except as expressly provided in this article, this
article does not affect the authority of an agency to issue an order
or take any other action under any provision of law to protect public
health and safety or the environment.
(b) Except as otherwise expressly provided in this article, this
article does not affect the authority of the agency or any other
public agency to pursue any existing legal, equitable, or
administrative remedies pursuant to state or federal law.
(c) Except as otherwise expressly provided in this article,
Chapter 6.8 (commencing with Section 25300) does not apply to this
(d) If a local agency determines that, due to an emergency, it is
necessary to gain access to a site that is the subject of a finding
of no further action or a certificate of completion, the person who
has obtained immunity pursuant to this chapter with regard to that
site shall allow the local agency access to the site to take any
action necessary to mitigate that emergency, or take any other
necessary response action. However, that person shall not be required
to pay for, or undertake, any of those actions taken by or required
by the local agency, unless the person caused or contributed to the
release at the site that constituted the emergency.