The legislature passed the "Uniform Environmental Covenants Act" (UECA), 2005 Iowa Acts, S.F. 375 which took effect July 1, 2005. A version of the bill can be found at Iowa UECA.
This legislation creates a new real estate instrument called an environmental covenant which will be required in lieu of the "restrictive covenant" instrument which has been used in the Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST) program (see chapter 567 Iowa Administrative Code (I.A.C.) 135). It also replaces the "environmental easement" used in the Land Recycling Program (LRP) (see chapter 567 I.A.C. 137). The Department previously informed the regulated community that it would not approve restrictive covenants under the LUST program or environmental easements under the LRP in the existing format under current administrative rules and guidance after July 1, 2005.
The Department drafted a model environmental covenant for use in the LUST and LRP programs. There are certain provisions that must be incorporated into the covenant and there is broad discretionary authority to incorporate other provisions. (See 2005 Iowa Code Supplement chapter 455I).
The Department has prepared the Environmental Covenant Preparation Guidance document which provides the steps and supporting documentation that needs to be submitted for review and approval.
** must be used for recording purposes for both LUST and LRP environmental covenants. Iowa Code section 331.601A established uniform formatting requirements for all documents filed with the county recorders office, including environmental covenants. For additional guidance see http://www.polkrecorder.com/guidelines.htm
The Department has also modified portions of the current LUST Institutional Control Guidance to provide policy on the type of supporting documentation and research that needs to accompany any LUST institutional control submitted for review and approval by the Department.
For further questions regarding Department requirements for submittal and approval of environmental covenants contact Aaron Brees, Attorney, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, at 515-281-5965 or Aaron.Brees@dnr.iowa.gov