Maryland's Voluntary Cleanup Program


The Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) was established by the state legislature in 1997 and is administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Land and Materials Administration's Land Restoration Program (LMA-LRP) to provide State oversight for the voluntary cleanup of properties contaminated with hazardous substances. The goal of the program is to increase the number of sites cleaned by streamlining the cleanup process while ensuring compliance with existing environmental regulations. Projects range from simple sites with a limited amount of contaminated soil to complex sites with multiple contaminants in soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment, and/or air.

A Memorandum of Agreement was signed by MDE and the Environmental Protection Agency Region III to facilitate the voluntary cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties. The agreement addresses federal liability of a participant in Maryland’s voluntary program by providing that EPA will consider sites (in Maryland’s program) of no interest. Eligible properties in Maryland’s VCP will fall under this agreement once a No Further Requirements Determination or Certificate of Completion has been issued for the property by MDE. Limited circumstances under which the agreement would not apply are also outlined. This agreement increases certainty for program participants.

The VCP reforms the process used to clean up eligible properties that are, or perceived to be, contaminated by hazardous substance release. In addition to providing a streamlined cleanup process, the VCP law provides liability protection for certain prospective owners of eligible properties in the Program to encourage the transfer of properties. These changes provide more "certainty" regarding environmental requirements to both responsible persons and future owners of a property thereby allowing parties to more accurately predict costs and time lines associated with a cleanup and increasing the likelihood of cleanup and redevelopment.


Maryland legislation has modified certain requirements for redevelopment through the VCP since inception.  These changes became effective October 1, 2004. A summary of changes is listed below:

  • Allows oil contaminated sites and sites under active enforcement under specified conditions to be eligible for the VCP
  • Increases predictability and efficiencies
  • Increases public notification of cleanups; and
  • Clarifies liability provisions
  • Broadens eligibility for grants and loans administered through the Brownfields Redevelopment Initiative Program (BRIP) 

VCP Public Notice Requirements

Upon submission of an application to the VCP, the applicant shall post notice at the property that is the subject of the application. The Department maintains a current Public Notice of Application listVCP Application update to the VCP.

VCP Information

To learn more about the program, please review the following:


The Voluntary Cleanup Program Guidance Document is currently under revision. The revised document will be available at a later date.

American Society For Testing And Materials (ASTM) Standard Practice For Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Site Assessment Process

In accordance with §7-506(a)(1)(v)(1), all VCP applications must include a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment that follows the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E1527-13 standard. This standard was approved by ASTM International as the active standard on November 6, 2013.

Contact Information

Please email or call the Voluntary Cleanup Program at 410-537-3493. ​​