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WAC 173-322A-330

Independent remedial action grants.

(1) Purpose. The purpose of independent remedial action grants is to provide funding to local governments that investigate and clean up hazardous waste sites independently under the voluntary cleanup program. The grants are intended to encourage and expedite independent remedial action and to lessen the impact of the cost of such action on ratepayers and taxpayers.
(2) Types of grants. The department may provide the following types of independent remedial action grants:
(a) Post-cleanup reimbursement grant. Under this grant, the department may reimburse the recipient after the department has issued a no further action determination for the hazardous waste site or property under the voluntary cleanup program.
(b) Periodic reimbursement grant. Under this grant, the department may reimburse the recipient periodically during the investigation and the cleanup of a hazardous waste site or property under the voluntary cleanup program.
(3) Project eligibility. For the purposes of these grants, a project consists of independent remedial actions at a single hazardous waste site. A project may extend over more than one biennium. To be eligible for a grant, the project must meet all of the following requirements:
(a) The applicant must be a local government;
(b) The applicant must be a potentially liable person, potentially responsible party, or prospective purchaser at the hazardous waste site or have an ownership interest in the hazardous waste site;
(c) For post-cleanup reimbursement grants, the applicant must have completed independent remedial actions at the hazardous waste site or property and received a no further action determination for the site or property under the voluntary cleanup program;
(d) For periodic reimbursement grants, the applicant must:
(i) Enroll the hazardous waste site in the voluntary cleanup program before entering into a grant agreement for the site;
(ii) Conduct independent remedial actions at the hazardous waste site or property in accordance with work plans authorized by the department under the voluntary cleanup program; and
(iii) Have necessary access to conduct independent remedial actions at the hazardous waste site or obtain such access in accordance with a schedule in the grant agreement.
(4) Funding priority. The department will prioritize eligible projects for funding or limit funding for eligible projects based on the priorities in WAC 173-322A-210 and the following factors:
(a) The threat posed by the hazardous waste site to human health and the environment;
(b) Whether the applicant is a prospective purchaser of a brownfield property within a redevelopment opportunity redevelopment zone;
(c) The land reuse potential of the hazardous waste site;
(d) Whether the hazardous waste site is located within a highly impacted community;
(e) The readiness of the applicant to start and complete the work to be funded by the grant and the performance of the applicant under prior grant agreements;
(f) The ability of the grant to expedite the cleanup of the hazardous waste site;
(g) The ability of the grant to leverage other public or private funding for the cleanup and reuse of the hazardous waste site;
(h) The distribution of grants throughout the state and to various types and sizes of local governments; and
(i) Other factors as determined and published by the department.
(5) Application process.
(a) Project solicitation. Biennially, the department will solicit project proposals from local governments to develop its budget and update its ten-year financing plan for remedial action grants and loans. The department may update its ten-year financing plan as needed during the biennium. Project proposals must be submitted on forms provided by the department and include sufficient information to make the determinations in (c) of this subsection. To be considered for inclusion in the department's budget for remedial action grants and loans, project proposals should be submitted by the dates published by the department.
(b) Application submittal. Applications must be submitted on forms provided by the department and include sufficient information to make the determinations in (c) and (d) of this subsection. Completed applications should be submitted by the dates published by the department.
(c) Project evaluation and ranking. Project proposals and applications will be reviewed by the department for completeness and evaluated to determine:
(i) Project eligibility under subsection (3) of this section; and
(ii) Funding priority under subsection (4) of this section.
(d) Agreement development. The department will make funding decisions only after funds have been appropriated. After deciding to fund an eligible project, the department will negotiate with the applicant the scope of work and budget for the grant and develop the agreement. The department will consider:
(i) Funding priority under subsection (4) of this section;
(ii) Cost eligibility under subsections (6) and (7) of this section;
(iii) Allowable funding under subsections (8) and (9) of this section; and
(iv) Availability of state funds and other funding sources.
(e) Fund management. The department may adjust funding levels or fund additional eligible projects during a biennium if additional funds should become available.
(6) Cost eligibility. To be eligible for funding, a project cost must be eligible under this subsection and the terms of the grant agreement and be approved by the department.
(a) Eligible costs. Eligible costs for an independent remedial action grant include, but are not limited to, reasonable costs for the following:
(i) Emergency or interim actions;
(ii) Remedial investigations;
(iii) Feasibility studies and selection of the remedy;
(iv) Engineering design and construction of the selected remedy;
(v) Operation and maintenance or monitoring of a cleanup action component for up to one year after construction completion of the component; and
(vi) Development of independent remedial action plans or reports submitted to the department for review under the voluntary cleanup program.
(b) Ineligible costs. Ineligible costs for an independent remedial action grant include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) The cost of developing the grant application or negotiating the grant agreement;
(ii) The cost of dispute resolution under the voluntary cleanup program or the grant agreement;
(iii) Retroactive costs, except as provided under subsection (7) of this section;
(iv) Cost of technical consultations provided by the department under the voluntary cleanup program, including reviews of reimbursement requests;
(v) Natural resource damage assessment and restoration costs and liability for natural resource damages under chapter 70.105D RCW or the federal cleanup law;
(vi) Site development and mitigation costs not required as part of a remedial action;
(vii) Legal costs including, but not limited to, the cost of seeking client advice, pursuing cost recovery, contribution, or insurance claims, participating in administrative hearings, pursuing penalties or civil or criminal actions against persons, penalties incurred by the recipient, defending actions taken against the recipient, and any attorney fees incurred by the recipient; and
(viii) In-kind contributions.
(7) Retroactive cost eligibility. The following retroactive costs are eligible for reimbursement if they are also eligible under subsection (5) of this section:
(a) Costs incurred within five years before the date of the completed grant application; and
(b) Costs incurred during the period of a prior grant agreement that have not been reimbursed by the department.
(8) Limit on eligible costs for a project. The eligible costs for a project may not exceed six hundred thousand dollars.
(9) Funding of eligible costs.
(a) Department share. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the department may only fund up to fifty percent of the eligible costs.
(i) The department may fund up to an additional twenty-five percent of the eligible costs if the applicant is:
(A) An economically disadvantaged county, city, or town; or
(B) A special purpose district with a hazardous waste site located within an economically disadvantaged county, city, or town.
(ii) The department may fund up to a total of ninety percent of the eligible costs if the director or designee determines the additional funding would:
(A) Prevent or mitigate unfair economic hardship imposed by the cleanup liability;
(B) Create new substantial economic development, public recreational opportunities, or habitat restoration opportunities that would not otherwise occur; or
(C) Create an opportunity for acquisition and redevelopment of brownfield property under RCW 70.105D.040(5) that would not otherwise occur.
(b) Recipient share. The recipient shall fund the percentage of the eligible costs not funded by the department under (a) of this subsection. The recipient may not use in-kind contributions to meet this requirement.
(10) Reimbursement of eligible costs.
(a) Post-cleanup reimbursement grants. For post-cleanup reimbursement grants, the department may reimburse the recipient for eligible costs only after the department has issued a no further action determination for the hazardous waste site or property under the voluntary cleanup program.
(b) Periodic reimbursement grants. For periodic reimbursement grants, the department may reimburse the recipient for eligible costs in accordance with the following terms and conditions.
(i) Remedial action work plans. The recipient must submit independent remedial action work plans to the department for review and authorization under the voluntary cleanup program.
(ii) Periodic reimbursement of remedial actions. The department may reimburse the recipient no more frequently than quarterly for the following:
(A) The development of independent remedial action work plans and reports;
(B) Independent remedial actions performed in accordance with a work plan authorized by the department in writing; and
(C) Any other independent remedial actions authorized by the department in writing.
(iii) Performance guarantee for periodic reimbursement. The department may withhold twenty percent of each periodic reimbursement payment as security for the recipient's completion of remedial actions at the hazardous waste site or property. Any funds withheld by the department may be paid to the recipient when the department issues a no further action determination for the hazardous waste site or property.
(iv) Post-cleanup reimbursement of retroactive costs. The department may reimburse the recipient for the retroactive costs specified in subsection (7)(a) of this section, but only after the department has issued a no further action determination for the hazardous waste site or property.
(11) Administration of multiple grants. The department may provide independent remedial action grants to a local government for more than one project under a single grant agreement.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 70.105D RCW. WSR 14-18-060 (Order 13-09), ยง 173-322A-330, filed 8/29/14, effective 9/29/14.]
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