Site Mitigation & Restoration Program

We protect and maintain California’s land and places
by setting strict standards for land restoration and cleanup

Scoping Meeting Quick Reference Guide

The purpose of an initial scoping meeting is for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the party with whom DTSC is entering into an agreement (Proponent), and the Proponent’s environmental consultant to discuss project objectives.

The following elements may be addressed during the scoping meeting:

  • Project Objectives: Redevelopment plans, real estate transactions, environmental conditions, etc.
  • Schedule and Funding Needs: Proponent’s deadlines that may be affected by assessment, investigation, or cleanup of the property.
  • Property History: Ownership, historic operations and land use; chemical use; regulatory status; permits; prior assessments; investigations; cleanup or mitigation; etc.
  • Property Details: Size, location, geology, lithology, hydrogeology; known/potential hazardous substance releases; areas of concern; contaminants of concern; historic sampling locations and results; data gaps; risk assessments; off-site concerns; etc.
  • Data Quality Objectives and Remedial Action Objectives: Discussion of data quality objectives to ensure that appropriate data of sufficient quality is collected to facilitate decision-making; discussion of potential cleanup goals and objectives.
  • Risk Assessment: Evaluation of the use of published screening levels or site-specific risk assessments, risk management, and risk communication strategies.
Tractor performing cleanup
  • Conceptual Site Model (CSM): Discussion of the relationship between contaminant sources and receptors through migration and exposure paths. Helps identify data gaps and focus data collection efforts. Updated as new information is collected throughout the project. 
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Requirements: Identification of existing CEQA documents and project requirements and how to integrate CEQA needs within the overall project. 
  • Public Participation Requirements: Discussion of previous outreach activities, public/tribal interest, and current perceptions in the community, as well as DTSC’s community involvement and public outreach process, methods, and schedule. 
  • Project Schedule: Agreed-upon submittal and review dates and timelines for Work Plans and other key documents; development of optimal sequencing of activities to efficiently reach project goals. 
  • Available Resources: Policies and procedures; sample documents, checklists, and other resources available. 
  • Exit Strategy and Closure: Proposed future land use; property acquisition and construction dates; funding limitations or requirements; approval for site occupancy, etc. to ensure alignment of stakeholder and DTSC goals. 
  • Action Items: Proponent or environmental consultant should provide action items to DTSC for review and concurrence, or the DTSC Project Manager may elect to prepare a meeting summary to document key decisions.

DTSC’s Voluntary Agreements – Assessment and Cleanup Process: 1) Agreement: a) Standard Voluntary Agreement b) California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act Agreement c) Reimbursement Agreement d) Prospective Purchaser Agreement e) Local Agency Oversight Agreement 2) Scoping Meetings a) During negotiation or shortly after agreement execution b) Establishes strong working relationship between DTSC, the Proponent, and the environmental consultant c) Also may be held prior to submitting any documents to DTSC for review 3) Evaluation a) Preliminary Endangerment Assessment (PEA) b) Supplemental Site Investigation c) Remedial Investigation d) Report of Findings Possible End Point 4) Remedy Selection a) Feasibility Study b) Removal Action Work Plan c) Remedial Action Plan d) Response Plan 5) Implementation a) Removal Action Implementation b) Remedial Design c) Remedial Action Implementation d) Response Plan Implementation 6) Certification & Stewardship a) No Further Action b) Certificate of Completion c) Land Use Restriction d) Operation and Maintenance e) Five-Year Review Possible End Point During Remedy Selection, there is a Public Comment Period and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). During this entire process, Public Participation Activities and Tribal Consulation is included, as needed. Possible End Points: 1) Based on site evaluation, projects may conclude without need for any further action; 2) Based on site evaluation, projects may conclude with the need for a Land Use Covenant, in which case a public notice process will be implemented through a Preliminary Endangerment Assessment, Report of Findings, or equivalent documents; and 3) Cleanups may either be conducted to unrestricted land use levels, or may require long term stewardships.

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This document is intended to be guidance only and it does not supersede or implement laws or regulations. The information in this advisory is intended solely as guidance and as educational reference material and should not be considered enforceable or regulatory in nature.