Here is a general guide for the Thursday, February 9th discussion of AUL Regulatory Reform topics. MassDEP is eager for your feedback on these topics – for each of the MassDEP proposals listed we ask that you think about… whether you agree or disagree with the proposal and whether you have any particular concerns or additional considerations that we should be aware of/do more thinking about as work on moving forward with developing the proposal.
In addition, we hope you will bring your AUL-regulatory related proposals to the meeting and/or consider providing comments on the MCP Regulatory Reform Blog (in the comment/reply section below) that we have set up to facilitate comments and discussion during this process.
Hope to see you Thursday! Liz
9:30 Welcome and Introductions
9:40 Discussion of AUL Streamlining proposals:
Proposals MassDEP has identified to date –
– Eliminate AUL Opinion
MassDEP is considering eliminating the AUL Opinion because it is largely redundant of the information provided in Form 1075. Eliminating the Opinion would also eliminate the need for the BWSC113A transmittal form. In eliminating the AUL Opinion, we anticipate providing an additional bracket in the Form 1075 for some limited site-specific narrative about the nature of the release/contamination, the affected media and need for the AUL. This regulatory proposal would include adding a provision that specifies the information to be included in this limited narrative.
– Provide documentation to MassDEP confirming that the requirement to incorporate the AUL into future deeds (in full or by reference) has been completed.
Failure to meet this requirement is a common AUL violation and consumes auditing resources to identify the violation and then confirm its correction. In addition, reliable compliance with this requirement would provide MassDEP with current property ownership information (BWSC’s recent AUL Compliance Letter project required tracking down almost ¼ of the current property owner’s contact information).
– Create on‐line form to update current owner contact information (related to the issue above). This would not be a regulatory proposal, necessarily; could be a voluntary eDEP form.
– Eliminate Exhibit A – legal description of property boundary
This legal description is already available on the deed. Do you foresee any issues with this proposal?
– Revise Amendment form (1082B)
The current amendment form does not address all possible amendments to the AUL, so it needs to be modified to provide for other common amendments (adding an RTN, adding or correcting an exhibit, getting the AUL back into the chain of title if it wasn’t referenced on the new deed). MassDEP would also like the amendment to restate the consistent/inconsistent uses that remain in effect (along with those being amended); currently one has to refer to both the original AUL and the amendment for the full list of consistent/inconsistent uses. This is confusing and cumbersome.
– Other form-related revisions
- Provide drop down list of common consistent/inconsistent uses – we are considering developing standardized descriptions of common inconsistent and consistent uses and obligations and conditions (while retaining an “other” option for parties to use their own descriptions)
- Use transmittal form information to create web abstract of information – to improve public AUL accessibility and understanding of AUL information. We would use inputs into eDEP transmittal form to create such an abstract that would describe why the AUL is needed and consistent/inconsistent uses, etc.; the abstract would appear when one held the cursor over the map of locations with AULs.
Proposals identified in Public Comments to MassDEP
– Involve real estate conveyance professionals in the development of revised forms – It has been suggested that the AULs could be made more similar to other real estate instruments and we should involve outside professionals in review of the forms. We invite suggestions on how to get this type of review.
– Requirement to notify record interest holders 30 days prior to recording – While this notice period has been previously amended from 45 – 30 days, MassDEP continues to get comments that it presents difficulties. We would like to hear examples of the problems encountered with this notice.
10:30/10:45 New/Other Proposals?
We would like to use this portion of the meeting to hear any other AUL Streamlining suggestions. What aspect(s) of AULs regulations or filing process do you find difficult, unnecessarily complicated, etc.? Is it an aspect that is under MassDEP’s control (i.e., related to an MCP requirement and not related to a Registry requirement)? Do you have a suggestion on how we might address this issue?