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

This page contains information regarding the finalization of remedial projects, including sample documents, checklists and report templates for engineering reports and site management plans.

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 (PDF) (311 KB) (updated August 2015).

Preparation of the Environmental Easement

In past years the Department has asked Applicants to prepare an environmental easement using the fill-in form template. However, the Department will now be preparing the environmental easement to be executed by the site owner. In order to prepare the easement, Department staff will need the remedial party to provide all of the items listed in Attachment A of the Easement Checklist. Upon receipt of all of the checklist items, the Department will prepare the easement which will need to be executed in duplicate by the site owner. The following Easement template will be applicable to most sites and situations. However, the easement may differ slightly for sites involving multiple owners, beneficial owners and where there are ground leases for the property.

Filing of Environmental Easement and Municipal Notice Requirements

For non-State funded sites, including sites in Brownfield and Voluntary Cleanup programs, the Department will return the executed Environmental Easement to the remedial party's attorney, along with a completed TP 584.2 form and Standard Municipal Notice for filing in the county where the property is located. 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 in some cases 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.

Due to the large volume of BCP projects seeking COCs at the end of each calendar year, DEC has established target dates throughout the year for the submission of the documents required to achieve a COC.

Milestones for Receipt of a Certificate of Completion by End of Calendar Year
Action Last Date For Action
Environment Easement (EE) Package,
to include:
  • Draft Easement
  • Title Report submitted
  • Site Survey
May 1: If changes to EE from the
template are requested, they must be
submitted with a letter detailing the
changes and reasons.

June 1: If EE follows the template.
Draft Site Management Plan submitted August 1
  • Construction completed
  • SMP approval
  • Submittal of electronic data in EQuIS format
  • Environment Easement executed
  • Draft Final Engineering Report submitted

October 1

Environmental Easement recorded and Notices provided October 15
Final Engineering Report submitted in final form November 15

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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