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SAM Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I obtain a copy of the Site Assessment and Mitigation (SAM) Manual?
How can I obtain a copy of the Environmental Assessment Listing of open and closed cases?
I am considering purchasing a commercial property/business. How can I obtain information associated with the properties environmental condition?
How do I find a qualified environmental consultant to investigate soil and groundwater contamination?
How do I get a permit to install, repair or destroy a monitoring well?
Do exploratory borings, direct-push samplers, cone penetrometers or piezometers require permits?
How do I get my well water tested for contamination?
What is the Local Oversight Program (LOP)?
What is a Non-LOP Tank Case?
What is the Voluntary Assistance Program (VAP)?

How can I obtain a copy of the Site Assessment and Mitigation (SAM) Manual?

Copies of the current SAM Manual are available from the SAM Web page

How can I obtain a copy of the Environmental Assessment Listing of open and closed cases?

The Environmental Assessment Case Listing is on the SAM Homepage. The listing can be searched by city, address or establishment/release number.

I am considering purchasing a commercial property/business. How can I obtain information associated with the properties environmental condition?

Access the DEH Site Assessment and Mitigation Program Web page and use the Environmental Assessment Listing search to see if there is a record of an investigation on the site.  Due to the high volume of requests we receive, an appointment is necessary to review our files; walk-in service is not available. It may also be advisable to review the files of other regulatory agencies.  To make a public records review request for a property, e-mail Public Records Program.

Additional information may be available from GeoTracker, the State Water Resource Control Board's Geographical Information System.

How do I find a qualified environmental consultant to investigate soil and groundwater contamination?

Environmental consultants are listed in the yellow pages of your telephone book. They are commonly listed under "Environmental Services", "Geologists" and "Hydrogeologists". DEH does not endorse or warranty the work performed by these companies.

How do I get a permit to install, repair or destroy a monitoring well?

Contact the Monitoring Well Permit Desk at (858) 505-6688 to obtain permit information.  The monitoring well permit application and associated documents are available on-line at the DEH Monitoring Well Program Web page.  Applications submitted for review are processed in 10 working days or less.

Do exploratory borings, direct-push samplers, cone penetrometers or piezometers require permits?

Yes. Permits are required for all test holes where there is known environmental contamination, a hazardous waste or material has been stored, or is being stored, or will be stored and meets any of the following criteria:

  • Borings in which a casing will be installed
  • Borings that have a monitoring device installed
  • Borings greater than 20 feet deep
  • Borings 20 feet or less in depth where groundwater is to be encountered
How do I get my well water tested for contamination?

There are a number of commercial laboratories that provide services to the public. These laboratories are listed in the Yellow Pages under the listing of "Laboratory Testing". When talking to the lab you need to be specific for the contaminant you wish to test. Generally, the labs will provide instructions on how you can obtain the sample.

What is the Local Oversight Program (LOP)?

The San Diego County Code and the California Health and Safety Code authorizes the DEH to regulate the investigation and cleanup of contamination from leaking underground storage tanks which contain hydrocarbon fuel or waste oil (with some exceptions). Through a contract with the State Water Resources Control Board, DEH is funded to oversee these activities. 

What is a Non-LOP Tank Case?

The San Diego County Code and the California Health and Safety Code authorizes the DEH to regulate the investigation and cleanup of contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. Non-LOP tanks are tanks that contained compounds other than petroleum products. The County will bill all oversight costs on these cases directly to the responsible party. 

What is the Voluntary Assistance Program (VAP)?

The San Diego County Code and the California Health and Safety Code authorizes the DEH to enter into voluntary agreements with Responsible Parties to provide oversight of investigations and remedial actions at sites contaminated by chemicals from sources other than regulated underground storage tanks. 

Complete the "Application for Assistance" application form for DEH assistance.  An initial fee is required at the time of application submittal. To obtain an "Application for Assistance" or for further information contact Nasser Sionit by email or by phone at (858) 505-6795.  Applications are also available on-line at our Voluntary Assistance Program Web page.