Maine DEP to Revise Oil Remediation Standards


The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced plans to revise its “Remediation Guidelines for Petroleum Contaminated Sites in Maine” issued on December 1, 2009.  The “Preliminary Draft” available for comment proposes revisions to clean-up standards in groundwater, drinking water, and soil. 

DEP plans to issue a proposal for public comment after this initial round of comment and revision.  Experienced reviewers know that comments received early in the process often enjoy a better reception from regulators than comments received later. 

Among the more important changes are:

  • Less stringent clean-up standards for most of the poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), though many of the most important clean-up levels for other oil products are not changing;
  • More definitive guidance on when vapor intrusion investigations should be conducted; and
  • A refined approach to when the excavation worker scenario is applicable and when OSHA standards should apply.

DEP notes that the PAH values may change again.  Overall, many of these changes have been under discussion for some time within the Department, and are similar to the changes proposed by DEP in early 2012 for the Hazardous Substance Remedial Action Guidelines (RAGs).  DEP invites comments by August 31, 2012. 

If you would like a copy of the proposed revisions, wish to comment, or are curious about how the revisions may affect clean-up (or the necessity for clean-up) at particular properties, please contact Ken Gray (207-791-1212 or or Matt Manahan (207-791-1189 or


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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