Crossing The (State) Line

Not only is Pioneer first in the State of Illinois in obtaining No Further Remediation letters, we are also well-versed in obtaining regulatory closure for contaminated sites in Indiana. If your site is ranked as low priority (only soil contamination) or medium priority (soil and/or groundwater with only petroleum contamination), you may qualify for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) State Cleanup Program (Program) Independent Closure Process (ICP). The ICP was created by IDEM to expedite closure of lower priority sites and is an alternative for a responsible party (RP) that allows the completion of site investigations and closure without direct agency oversight.

For more contaminated or complex sites, another regulatory closure option in Indiana is obtaining a Comfort Letter through the Indiana Brownfields Program. A significant benefit of the Comfort Letter for purchasers of contaminated sites is the relief from potential liability related to hazardous substance contamination under the bona fide prospective purchaser (BFPP) exemption under federal CERCLA regulations. A Comfort Letter can be issued to a party that satisfies certain criteria, including (1) disposal of the hazardous substances occurred prior to site acquisition, (2) All Appropriate Inquiry (an ASTM compliant Phase I Environmental Site Assessment) was completed within one year of acquisition and updated if more than 180 days old, and (3) the applicant is not affiliated with the RP.

If these initial criteria can be satisfied, the site must be assessed and certain Continuing Obligations are required to minimize potential human exposure to residual impacts and ensure contaminant conditions are not exacerbated.

With either the ICP or the Comfort Letter option, the interested party can elect for remediation and/or an Environmental Restrictive Covenant (ERC). The purpose of the ERC is to notify current and future property owners that environmental contamination exists on site. The ERC is recorded on the property title and contains language regarding allowable property use, requirements for barriers to prevent exposure, and groundwater use restrictions.

The benefits of site closure through both of the above programs, if eligible, can be reduced assessment and remedial costs and time to closure, as well as expedited real estate transactions. If you currently own or plan to purchase contaminated property in Indiana, contact Pioneer and let us determine the most cost-effective program for obtaining site closure to limit your future environmental liability.

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