Department of Health Seal

TGM for the Implementation of the Hawai'i State Contingency Plan
Section 19.0

19.0 Site Closures

Under the Hawai`i State Contingency Plan (SCP) [i.e., Hawai`i Administrative Rules (HAR), Title 11, Chapter 451 (HAR Chapter 11-451)] an unrestricted site closure is granted as a "No Further Action", once the Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office (HEER Office) of the State of Hawai`i Department of Health (HDOH) decides that no further action is necessary for a specific release, suspected release, or upon the successful completion of a response action (either removal or remedial action). If contaminated media remains on site that necessitates land use restrictions, a "No Further Action with Restrictions" is granted. The HEER Office also may issue "No Action" determinations if sampling data indicate no evidence of a release, or the documented release is judged by the HEER Office as not warranting cleanup or restriction.

An unrestricted site closure approved under the Voluntary Response Program (VRP) is granted as a "Letter of Completion" (LOC). If contaminated media remains on site necessitating land use restrictions, a "Letter of Completion with Restrictions" is granted.

Note that a restriction is distinct from a condition. All LOCs have conditions, but they may not be "restrictions" (for example, a site with a LOC allowing unrestricted use will have a condition that requires the LOC be noted on the deed and sent to the County agency that issues building permits).

Thus, the available types of site closures include:

  • No Action
  • No Further Action
  • No Further Action with Restrictions
  • Letter of Completion (under VRP)
  • Letter of Completion with Restrictions (under VRP)

The HEER Office may also issue a "No Further Active Remediation Letter;" however, this is not a type of site closure. No Further Active Remediation status is intended for contaminated sites where potentially significant environmental concerns remain, but active remediation (e.g., excavation, soil vapor extraction, etc.) is no longer practical. This status may be helpful to site owners, financial institutions, and potential purchasers to establish the "environmental liability" of a site with remaining contamination prior to formal site closure.

Within the various types of site closures a number of possible outcomes exist, ranging from clean closures with no land use restrictions to containment-based remedies addressing contaminated media left on site with monitoring requirements and stringent land use restrictions.

The type of site closure being sought must be selected prior to or during the response action selection stage. To ensure the restrictions and limitations that will result from the selected type of closure are feasible and/or acceptable to stakeholders, use systematic planning processes (see Section 3) to guide the site closure process, keeping long-term use of the site in mind.