21 May Get with the Program: Part 3 – State Programs
In general, you are more likely to have a property in a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection(DEEP) program than in a Federal one, so it makes sense to know a little bit about them. In some cases, the property owner my receive some protection from liability if requirements of the program are met. The following are descriptions of some of the more common State programs.
The Property Transfer Program applies to the transfer of ownership of certain properties and/or businesses known as “Establishments”. An Establishment is defined as: any real property at which or any business operation from which (A) on or after November 19, 1980, there was generated, except as a result of remediation of polluted soil, groundwater or sediment, more than 100 kilograms of hazardous waste in any one month, (B) hazardous waste generated at a different location was recycled, reclaimed, reused, stored, handled, treated, transported or disposed of, (C) the process of dry cleaning was conducted on or after May 1, 1967, (D) furniture stripping was conducted on or after May 1, 1967, or (E) a vehicle body repair facility was located on or after May 1, 1967. The DEEP must be notified of the transfer of ownership of an Establishment on one of four forms. The program also requires one person involved in the transfer to sign as the “Certifying Party”. The Certifying Party agrees to investigate the property in accordance with prevailing standards and guidance and, if necessary, remediate the property in accordance with the Remediation Standard Regulations (RSRs). The State or a Licensed Environmental Professional (LEP) will verify when the investigation and remediation are completed as required. Completion of the requirements of the program provides the property owner with some protection from future liability.
The State has two Voluntary Remediation Programs. Both programs are elective and require the same level of investigation and remediation as the Property Transfer Program. The advantage of the voluntary programs is that the work can be conducted, completed, and verified before the property is put on the market. This restores the value of the property and ensures the closing will not be delayed due to environmental issues. Completion of the requirements of the program also provides the property owner with some protection from future liability.
The Significant Environmental Hazard program is triggered when an environmental hazard is discovered on the property. Environmental hazard conditions that must be reported include: 1) Public or private drinking water supply wells with detected pollution (above or below the groundwater protection criteria); 2) polluted groundwater 500 feet upgradient of or within 200 feet in any direction of a drinking water supply well with pollution detected above the groundwater protection criteria; 3) Polluted groundwater within 15 feet of an occupied building with the potential to pose a short-term risk to indoor air quality; 4) Polluted groundwater discharging to a surface water body with the potential to pose a short-term risk to aquatic life; 5) polluted soil present within two feet of the surface with the potential to pose a short-term direct contact risk to humans; and 6) the presence of vapors from polluted soil, groundwater or residual free product at levels posing a potential explosion hazard and imminent threat to human health, public safety and the environment. The State must also be notified of the actions taken to investigate and abate the hazard.
The Potable Water Program assists individuals whose private or public drinking water supply wells may be at risk of being contaminated or have been contaminated. The State can investigate complaints of contamination. This often includes testing drinking water supply wells. If the source of the contamination can be determined, the polluter may be required to provide a short-term water supply (such as bottled water) and/or a long-term water supply (such as installation a water treatment system or connection to a municipal water system).
To determine if any of these programs apply to your property or business, you should contact the Connecticut DEEP or an LEP. They can also provide more specific details of the scheduling and reporting requirements of the programs. Additional information regarding these programs can also be obtained from the Remediation Division on the DEEP website at: