The San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board recently issued a fact sheet summarizing changes to its approach to remediating environmental impacts and mitigating vapor intrusion (VI) at properties impacted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This follows a January 2019 update to the Board’s vapor intrusion environmental screening levels—which are, not surprisingly, lower than ever before.
The email transmitting the fact sheet states that it is “intended to provide developers, cities, homeowners associations, and the public a summary of expectations for development at sites were VI may pose a threat.”
But managing expectations has always been a challenge for regulatory agencies and responsible parties at cleanup sites. Some have suggested that the agencies have regulated vapor intrusion “on the fly,” or by “underground regulations”—protocols that have not been formally adopted under the California Administrative Procedures Act.