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Vapor Intrusion

Community Engagement

Early and frequent engagement with communities affected by vapor intrusion is important. Vapor intrusion is a complex issue requiring the explanation of many technical terms and concepts. Understanding these concepts is critical to achieving successful community involvement in site decisions. Communities also need to know the potential health concerns associated with vapor intrusion and the steps they can take to protect themselves and their families.

There are resources available to communities and other stakeholders to help them understand the complex technical issues behind identifying and mitigating vapor intrusion. There are also several resources available to regulators to help them involve the community in decisions about sampling in and around homes and businesses as well as installing and maintaining mitigation systems. For additional guidance and information, see:

For Stakeholders and Community

Adobe PDF LogoA Citizen's Guide to Radon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon
U.S. EPA. 16 pp, December 2016.

This document explains what radon is, how it occurs, when you should test for radon, and how radon issues in a home can be addressed.

Vapor Intrusion Sampling Video
U. S. EPA. 2020.

This short video gives a brief description of sampling for vapor intrusion using Summa cannisters.

Adobe PDF LogoA Stakeholder's Guide to New Construction at Vapor Intrusion Sites
CPEO. Seigel, Lenny. 21 pp. December 2016.

A resource for local governments and non-governmental community stakeholders to use in engaging residents, builders, developers, and local governments on safe construction approaches that can be used for new construction on sites where vapor intrusion may be an issue.

Adobe PDF LogoA Stakeholder's Guide to Long-Term Management at Vapor Intrusion Sites
CPEO. Seigel, Lenny. 20 pp. April 2016.

A guide for people living, working, studying, praying, or engaging in other activities in buildings that may be susceptible to vapor intrusion. The guide focuses on helping stakeholders ensure that long-term care of these sites receives proper attention and provides a template for stakeholders to use to ensure a government agency or private entity is held accountable for the long-term care.

Adobe PDF LogoA Stakeholder's Guide to Vapor Intrusion: Update
Center for Public Environmental Oversight (CPEO). Seigel, Lenny. 27 pp. November 2015.

A 27-page general introduction to vapor intrusion and investigation and remedial techniques.

Adobe PDF LogoA Citizen's Guide to Vapor Intrusion Mitigation
U. S. EPA. 2 pp, 2012.

This guide explains what vapor intrusion is, the movement of chemical vapors from contaminated soil and groundwater into nearby buildings. It describes both active and passive mitigation methods to address vapor intrusion.

The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Website provides an overview of the need for a safety guide on indoor air quality, common causes of indoor air issues, how to identify indoor air quality problems, and what to do if a consumer suspects there is an indoor air quality issue.

Several states have developed guidance on community engagement. Consult your local regulatory agency for state-specific guidance. As an example, guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is provided below:

Vapor Intrusion 101
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. February 15, 2017.

This video provides a basic overview of vapor intrusion concepts. The video covers the causes/sources of vapor intrusion, how it spreads and what the homeowner can do to address it.


Implementing Effective Community Engagement at Vapor Intrusion Sites

Adobe PDF LogoPublic Outreach during Vapor Intrusion Mitigation
Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC). 9 pp. December 2020.

A fact sheet that provides an overview of common concerns of communities affected by vapor intrusion, issues specific to vapor intrusion to consider when developing a community engagement plan (CEP) and references for preparation of CEPs.

The Responsible Neighbor: A Vapor Intrusion Story
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. April 4, 2017.

This video is geared to consultants and responsible parties. The video demonstrates the benefits of good communication between stakeholders and responsible parties involved in an environmental cleanup.

Adobe PDF LogoGuidance for Communicating Vapor Intrusion at Environmental Restoration Sites
Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center. 46 pp, 2014.

This guide provides Navy environmental RPMs with recommendations for notifying and relaying VI investigations to Base personnel and potentially affected occupants of industrial, office, or residential buildings at Navy activities. In addition to a communication strategy, the document provides examples of fact sheets, notification letters, and posters that explain what VI is and the plan to mitigate it.

Petroleum Vapor Intrusion, Fundamentals of Screening, Investigation, and Management: Section 7. Community Engagement
Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC). 20 of 388 pp, October 2014.

This section provides an overview of the elements of a community engagement plan (CEP) and provides tools and guidance for tailoring CEPs to petroleum vapor intrusion sites. It identifies common stakeholder concerns, provides strategies for identifying and addressing concerns, and risk communication.

Adobe PDF LogoVapor Intrusion Public Participation Advisory
California EPA, Department of Toxic Substances Control, 109 pp, 2012.

This Advisory describes public participation approaches designed to facilitate effective communication and coordination with communities and stakeholders affected by or concerned with vapor intrusion at sites that have a potentially complete indoor air exposure pathway.


Technical Guidelines

Brownfields Technology Primer: Vapor Intrusion Considerations for Redevelopment
EPA 542-R-08-001, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 49 pp, March 2008.

Primer is designed for land revitalization stakeholders concerned about vapor intrusion, including property owners, municipalities, and real estate developers. It provides an overview of the vapor intrusion issue and how it can affect redevelopment. It also summarizes techniques for quickly and cost effectively assessing the potential for vapor intrusion and techniques for mitigating it.