News & Events

Roux Insurance Update: Regulatory Update to Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Guidance

Posted on March 14, 2023

To help keep your team up to date on current events, Roux is providing this email to summarize topics pertinent to the insurance industry that you may find useful.

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (SFBRWQCB) issued updated guidance in June 2022 that will result in an increased focus, and environmental response costs by consequence, for mitigating vapor intrusion at sites that are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This updated guidance comes on the heels of other vapor intrusion-related guidance issued by the SFRWQCB in 2019 and 2020, and provides further insight into the SFBRWQCB’s approach for regulating vapor intrusion in both the short- and long-term. Key aspects of the updated guidance that will result in an increase in environmental response costs to responsible parties are provided below.

  • The implementation of vapor intrusion mitigation measures are not considered a substitute for the remediation of VOCs in the subsurface. Thus, remediation of VOCs may be required to the extent feasible (on a case-by-case basis) prior to approval of a vapor intrusion mitigation measure.
  • Performance monitoring activities will be required to evaluate the effectiveness of vapor intrusion measures implemented at a site. The requirement of performance monitoring activities not only results in increases to long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, but also costs to integrate performance monitoring infrastructure in a vapor intrusion mitigation design.
  • For sites that require long-term monitoring, a funding plan (that may or may not include a financial assurance mechanism) will be required to demonstrate that sufficient funds are available to cover monitoring activities for the operational lifetime of the vapor intrusion mitigation measure.

While the SFBRWQCB has developed the June 2022 vapor intrusion guidance to aid in the oversight of sites with a vapor intrusion risk, use of this guidance may be adopted by other Regional Water Quality Control Boards throughout California—meaning that this guidance may apply to other sites outside of the San Francisco Bay Area.

What can Roux do to help?
As an industry leader in providing expertise for designing, implementing, and monitoring vapor intrusion mitigation measures, Roux’s team of experts can assist property owners, developers, and/or responsible parties navigate the SFBRWQCB’s approach to mitigating vapor intrusion and minimize the financial implications that last year’s guidance update may impose for a site.

Roux can conduct due diligence and environmental investigation activities to assess the requirement for vapor intrusion mitigation at a site, as well as design, operate, and monitor vapor intrusion mitigation measures as needed.

Interested in speaking to one of our experts on vapor intrusion mitigation? Reach out using the button below.

Contact Roux