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Finalizing Remedial Projects: Easements, Certificates of Completion, and Templates

Environmental Easements and Deed Restrictions

Environmental Easements are required for remedial projects which rely upon one or more institutional and/or engineering controls. The Environmental Easement runs with the land in favor of the State, subject to the provisions of ECL Article 71, Title 36, and contains the use restriction(s) and/or any prohibition(s) on the use of land in a manner inconsistent with engineering controls. The placement of an Environmental Easement provides an effective and enforceable means of encouraging the reuse and redevelopment of a controlled property, at a level that has been determined to be safe for a specific use, while ensuring the performance of operation, maintenance, and/or monitoring requirements. The DEC project manager will relay instructions to remedial parties regarding execution of the Environmental Easement, including completion of the Environmental Easement Checklist (updated November 2014).

Environmental Easement Template

The following Environmental Easement template is applicable to most sites and situations. However, for sites involving multiple owners, beneficial owners and ground leases, the DEC Project Attorney should be consulted for guidance in using the template.

Filing of Environmental Easement and Municipal Notice Requirements

Upon filing of the Environmental Easement with the County Clerk or New York City Registrar, remedial parties must mail the Notice of Environmental Easement to the affected local government. A copy of the filing receipt from the County Clerk or New York City Registrar showing the easement was recorded, and proof of mailing of the notice to the municipality must be received by DEC within 30 days of filing the Environmental Easement. Proof of mailing can be in the form of a certified mail receipt or an attorney affidavit of mailing.

Proof of mailing and filing should be mailed to: Environmental Easement Attorney, Bureau of Remediation, Office of General Counsel, 14th Floor, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1500

Deed Restrictions

In place of an Environmental Easement, a Deed Restriction may be the required institutional control for:

  1. sites in the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP);

  2. sites that are class 2, 3, 4, or 5 in the State Superfund Program, or non-registry sites subject to an Article 27 Title 13 order, provided the consent order was executed, and the Record of Decision was issued, prior to October 7, 2003; or

  3. sites in the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) provided the State Assistance Contract was signed, and the ERP Record of Decision was issued, prior to October 7, 2003.

Deed Restriction - Sites with Groundwater Restrictions

Deed Restriction - Sites without Groundwater Restrictions

Deed Restriction - Sites without Engineering Controls

Deed Restriction - Sites remediated by the DEC under State Superfund Program

Certificates of Completion (COC)

COCs are issued upon approval of a final engineering report or the issuance of the no further action decision document, and provide liability protections for site owners, developers and lessees. For eligible parties in the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), the COC will trigger the availability of tax credits. Additional information on COCs can be found on the page titled Initial Notice and Transfer of Certificate of Completion and Change of Use Notifications.

Report Templates

As part of the finalization of remedial projects, remedial parties must submit two key documents to DEC for review - the Site Management Plan and the Final Engineering Report. To facilitate the review of these documents, DEC has prepared templates in Microsoft Word format which include instructions for use by remedial parties. Checklists that DEC staff use to review these documents, along with generic reports, are also provided for reference in Portable Document Format (PDF).

Final Engineering Report

Site Management Plan

Users of these report templates should contact their DEC project manager with any questions on report preparation.

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