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The 1997 Iowa Legislature adopted Iowa Code Chapter 455H, the Iowa Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act. This legislation required DNR to develop and manage a program to enact the provisions of the bill. Through the joint efforts of a Technical Advisory Committee and the DNR, the Iowa Land Recycling Program was developed. Rules in Chapter 137 were adopted and effective on October 27, 1998, and amended effective August 25, 2004.
The Land Recycling Program (LRP) allows owners or other stakeholders of a property to voluntarily assess and implement remedial actions at a site that is contaminated or is perceived to be contaminated. The assessment of the property must address the severity of the contamination problems and the risks associated with the contamination. The Department will provide a No Further Action Certificate for the site following assessment and implementation of appropriate cleanup activities and/or other remedies to assure the protection of public health and the environment. This certificate shall provide limited liability protection from further regulatory action relative to the problem(s) addressed.
Chapter 137.3(3)b requires the hourly rate the IDNR charges oversight costs be published on an annual basis. The rate was determined by averaging all LRP hourly costs from July 2014 through June 2015 and adding overhead costs. The hourly rate from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 is $66.11.
The legislature passed the "Uniform Environmental Covenants Act" (UECA), 2005 Iowa Acts, S.F. 375 which took effect July 1, 2005. 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.