News and Insights on Connecticut Real Estate Law


Friday, March 28, 2008

2007 Changes to the Connecticut Transfer Act

The following text is excerpted from a recent letter from Kim Maiorano of the Remediation Division, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. It provides an excellent summary of the changes made to the Connecticut Transfer Act, also known as the Property Transfer Law, by the 2007 Connecticut General Assembly and the DEP’s current requirements.
“Please note that significant changes were made to the Property Transfer Law during the 2007 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Public Act 07-81 (effective October 1, 2007) and Public Act 07-233 (effective July 1, 2007) made changes to CGS §22a-134 and 134a.
The Property Transfer Law now provides for automatic delegation to a licensed environmental professional (LEP) to oversee the investigation of the parcel and verify that the establishment has been remediated in accordance with the State Remediation Standard Regulations, §22a-133k-l through 3 (RSRs). This delegation is automatic unless within 75 days of the date of this letter, you are notified in writing that the Commissioner’s review and approval of the investigation and remediation is required. Please be aware that although the Form III is considered complete, the ECAF may still be under technical review and you may be required to provide additional information (i.e., receptor survey, well monitoring analyses, etc.) in order for the Commissioner to determine if the Commissioner’s oversight of the remediation activities is necessary.
In accordance with CGS §22a-133a(g)(l) and (h), as amended by Public Act 07-233, you must submit to the Commissioner within 75 days of the date of this letter, a schedule for the investigation of the parcel and remediation of the establishment. The schedule shall include the name of the licensed environmental professional that will be retained to oversee such activities at the establishment, and shall provide that you (as certifying party) will do the following:
1.         The parcel will be investigated in accordance with prevailing standards and guidelines, and the investigation will be completed within 2 years of the date of this letter.
2.         The final investigation report, approved in writing by an LEP, will be submitted to the Commissioner within 2 years of the date of this letter. The “Completion of Investigation Transmittal Form” shall be used to submit the required documentation to the Commissioner.
3.         Public notice of remediation will be posted prior to the initiation of remediation in accordance with CGS §22a-134a(i).  Since a forty five (45) day comment period is required pursuant to the RSRs, the public notice of remediation should be published far enough in advance of the submittal of the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to allow adequate time for any comments on the proposed remediation and any response to such comments to be incorporated into the Remedial Action Plan. A copy of the public notice will be submitted to DEP immediately following publication of said notice.
4.         Remediation of the establishment will be initiated within 3 years of the date of this letter.
5.         A Remedial Action Plan, approved in writing by an LEP, will be submitted to the Commissioner within 3 years of the date of this letter. The “Remedial Action Plan Transmittal Form” shall be used to submit the required RAP to the Commissioner.
6.         Annual progress reports concerning the remediation and monitoring of the establishment will be submitted to the Commissioner on an annual basis starting by the fourth year from the date of this letter and every 12 months thereafter. Such annual progress reports must provide detailed report on remediation activities conducted within the previous 12 months, and any information indicating risks to human health or the environment may be higher than previously known.
The Department must be notified in writing within 30 days should there be any change in the selection of the licensed environmental professional.
Unless an alternative schedule has been approved in writing by the Commissioner, you shall investigate the parcel and remediate the establishment in accordance with the proposed schedule. When remediation of the entire establishment is complete, you, as the certifying party, shall obtain and submit to the Commissioner a final verification by an LEP (unless DEP notifies you in writing that the Commissioner will review and approve the investigation and remediation). The final verification shall be on a form prescribed by the Commissioner,
You should note that pursuant to CGS §22a-134a(g)(1), as amended by Public Acts 07-81 and 07-233, the Commissioner may determine at any time that the Commissioner’s review and written approval of the investigation and remediation at the parcel is necessary. Nothing in this determination shall affect the authority of the Commissioner under any other statute or regulation, including, hut not limited to, any authority to issue an order to any party associated with the transfer, to institute any other proceeding, or take any other action to prevent or abate pollution, to recover costs and natural resource damages; and to impose penalties for violations of law.
If at any time the Commissioner determines that the actions at the parcel have not fully characterized the extent and degree of pollution or have not successfully abated or prevented pollution, the Commissioner may institute any proceeding, or take any action to require further investigation or further action to prevent or abate pollution. In addition nothing in this letter shall relieve any person of his or her obligations under applicable federal, state and local law.”

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