Illinois Adopts Brownfield Site Restoration Regulations

Author:Mr Mark Steger
Profession:Holland & Knight LLP
 
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Originally published 2nd Quarter 2004 On January 22, 2004, the Illinois Pollution Control Board adopted regulations establishing standards and procedures for administering Illinois' Brownfield Site Restoration Program (BSRP). The BSRP allows a person to be reimbursed for the cost to voluntarily remediate contamination at "abandoned" or "under-utilized" properties if the remediation will lead to a "net economic benefit" to Illinois. Under the statute, priority is given to sites located in areas with high levels of poverty, where the unemployment rate exceeds Illinois' average, where an enterprise zone exists, or where the area is otherwise economically depressed.The rules are part of Illinois' voluntary Site Remediation Program (SRP). To be eligible for reimbursement under the BSRP, the person seeking reimbursement (Remedial Applicant, or RA) must not have materially caused or contributed to the contamination. Also, the Illinois EPA must have issued a "No Further Remediation" letter under the SRP for the property and the letter must be recorded against the property. As a condition of reimbursement, the RA must have received a determination from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) that the site qualifies as either an abandoned property or an under-utilized property. Also, the DCEO's determination will indicate the net economic benefit to Illinois based on certain factors, including capital investment and job creation. Finally, the DCEO will set forth the maximum amount the RA can be reimbursed. The amount of reimbursement is subject to available funding each fiscal year and covers remediation costs that are reasonable as determined by the Illinois EPA. There is a reimbursement cap, however. The RA cannot be reimbursed more than the...

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