About Cleanups

The Office of Land Quality (OLQ) is prepared to investigate, assess, and clean up contaminated sites through various state and federal investigation and cleanup programs. OLQ selects the appropriate program(s) based on the details about each site, including:

  • Site complexity
  • Presence of emergency situations
  • Facility type
  • Duration of the cleanup
  • Cleanup requirements

How OLQ Handles Cleanups

OLQ takes these actions when it learns about possible contamination:

  • Investigate what happened.
    • OLQ will investigate the types and quantities of chemicals released, their location, and if the chemicals are likely to come into contact with people.
  • Assess the contamination and determine if it is a problem.
    • Chemicals that are safe or disappear very quickly are unlikely to cause a problem. But chemicals that are poisonous, long-lasting, or capable of changing into more poisonous chemicals will need to be cleaned up.
  • Properly manage or clean up the contaminated site, when necessary.
    • OLQ will select a remedy that prevents the chemicals from causing a problem in the future. The choices include removing the chemicals, changing them into safe chemicals, or preventing people from coming into contact with them.

When OLQ finishes the above process, it will consider the event “closed” or “completed” and produce site closure documentation.