Licensed Environmental Professional (LEP) Verification Audit ProgramA verification is a written opinion the LEP is authorized by law to render pursuant to Sections 22a-133o, 22a-133x, 22a-133y, 22a-134a, and 32-769 of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS); Sections 22a-133k-1 through 22a-133k-3, inclusive, and 22a-133q of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA); or any other law, regulation, order, permit, license, or approval. It includes both the Verification Form and any Verification Report or Final Remedial Action Report included with the form as supporting documentation.
The Verification Audit Program is an evaluation process under Section 22a-133v(g) of the CGS in which DEEP reviews verifications rendered by LEPs to confirm that investigations have been conducted in accordance with prevailing standards and guidelines and that remediation has been completed in accordance with the Remediation Standard Regulations (RSRs). To obtain information about an LEP's verification record, contact DEEP.Verifications@ct.gov.
Verification Review Process
After a verification is received it will be subject to one or more screening/review processes:
- Administrative Screening (all verifications)
- Technical Screening (select verifications)
- Audit (based on technical screening)
DEEP screens all verifications that are submitted to ensure the verification is complete, signed by a person with the authority to sign a verification, and supported with all required documentation. If the verification is found to be incomplete, the verification will be administratively rejected.
Administrative Rejection [Stamped copy of Verification Form]: Applicable parties are emailed the following administrative rejection package:
- The first and second page of the Verification Form (first and last page of the pre-2021 forms) with the first page stamped “Rejected, Verification Incomplete,” and initialed and dated by the Assistant Director of the Remediation Division: Example of Rejected Verification
- A checklist identifying the reasons the Verification was incomplete: Administrative Rejection Checklist
- A link to the informational factsheet: Administrative Rejection Fact Sheet
If the verification is determined to be administratively complete, various levels of technical screening may be performed for technical merit and RSR application. If such screening finds that the verification is technically complete, a No Audit determination is issued.
If technical concerns are identified during this screening process, the verification may be recommended for an audit or rejected without an audit. DEEP selects verifications for audit based on a number of factors, including but not limited to:
- incomplete documentation of the work performed by the LEP,
- data gaps that appear to be significant in the investigation and/or remediation of the subject property,
- apparent misapplication of RSR provisions,
- the environmental history of the property,
- random for quality control, and
- the discretion of the Commissioner.
At the conclusion of the technical review, applicable parties are emailed one the following:
- No Audit [Stamped copy of Verification Form]: Sent when the Commissioner does not intend to audit the verification rendered by the LEP. The first and second page of the Verification Form (first and last page of the pre-2021 forms) is emailed to the applicable parties with the first page stamped “No Audit” and initialed and dated by DEEP.
- Notice of Audit (NOA): Sent when the Commissioner determines an audit of the verification is warranted. The apparent issues that necessitated the audit will be identified in the NOA or in subsequent correspondence.
- Letter of Rejection: Sent when the Commissioner determines the data presented to support the verification clearly indicate that compliance with the RSRs has not been achieved or demonstrated without conducting an audit. The Letter of Rejection details the reason(s) for rejection and the continued legal obligations of the Certifying Party, Eligible Party, or property owner, as applicable.
When a verification is selected for an audit, an NOA is issued to the LEP rendering the verification and to the Certifying Party, Eligible Party, or property owner, as applicable. The LEP may be offered an opportunity to submit additional information supporting the verification and/or an audit meeting may be convened to discuss the issues identified by DEEP and to provide an opportunity for the LEP to support their rationale for the verification. DEEP will consider all information presented by the LEP in support of their verification.
An audit may focus on specific issues, such as the appropriateness of a specific decision of the LEP or the application of specific provisions of the RSRs. Many audits will entail a full technical review of the investigation and remediation of the subject parcel, portion, or release area and the appropriateness of the LEP’s application of the RSRs. DEEP will notify all applicable parties on the final determination of the adequacy of the verification and close the audit with one of the following documents.
Any of the following correspondence may be sent to the Certifying Party, Eligible Party, or property owner and the LEP:
Audit Findings - Audited & Accepted [Stamped copy of Verification Form]: Sent when the Commissioner determines the verification had been validated during the audit. The first and second page of the Verification Form (first and last page of the pre-2021 forms) with the first page stamped "Audited and Accepted" is emailed to the applicable parties and initialed and dated by the Assistant Director of the Remediation Division. The audit is closed and no further actions regarding the verification and audit proceedings are required.
Audit Findings - Rejected: Sent to the applicable parties when the Commissioner determines the verification is insufficient and thereby rejected. The Audit Findings presents the setting for the verification, describes the audit process, itemizes the outstanding issues and deficiencies of the verification, and details the resultant legal obligations of the applicable parties for the investigation and remediation of the parcel, establishment, or release area, as applicable. The audit is closed.
- If the rejected verification was submitted pursuant to a Form III as defined in CGS Section 22a-134, the Certifying Party will be required to submit a revised schedule to complete investigation and/or remediation of the establishment and to submit a verification of compliance with the RSRs.
- If the rejected verification supported the filing of a Form I, Form II, or Form IV as defined in CGS 22a-134, said filing is considered invalid and the Certifying Party must file a Form III, an Environmental Condition Assessment Form, and filing fee.
If, at the conclusion of the audit, the outstanding issues regarding the verification meet the criteria for referral established by the State Board of Examiners of Environmental Professionals and/or indicate potential violations of the LEP regulations, DEEP may refer the LEP to the Board for an investigation.
22a-134a - For verifications submitted pursuant to CGS 22a-134a, the Commissioner shall not begin an audit more than one year after receipt of a final verifications of an entire establishment submitted to DEEP on or after October 1, 2019 [CGS 22a-134a(g)(3)(B)]. The Commissioner shall complete an audit of a final verification of an entire establishment within 3 years of receipt of that verification unless certain exceptions listed in the statute are met. Generally, these exceptions are if the Commissioner has reason to believe:
- the verification was obtained through the submittal of inaccurate, erroneous, or otherwise misleading information or misrepresentations substantive to the verification;
- post-verification monitoring or operations and maintenance required as part of a verification has not been conducted;
- the verification relies upon an environmental land use restriction (ELUR) that was not properly recorded on the land records;
- there has been a violation of CGS sections 22a-134 to 22a-134e; and/or
- the remediation may have failed to prevent a substantial threat to public health or the environment.
The Commissioner may request additional information during an audit. If such information is not provided within ninety days of the Commissioner's request (or a later deadline specified in writing), the Commissioner may either:
- suspend the audit, which also suspends the running of the three-year time frame for completing the audit until the Commissioner receives all requested information, or
- complete the audit based upon the information provided in the verification before the request for additional information.
CGS 22a-133y - For verifications submitted pursuant to CGS Section 22a-133y (one of the Voluntary Remediation Programs), a verification is deemed approved unless a Notice of Audit is sent within 60 days of receipt. The audit must be conducted within 6 months.
CGS 32-769 - For verifications submitted pursuant to CGS Section 32-769 (Brownfield Remediation and Revitalization Program), a verification is deemed approved unless a Notice of Audit is sent within 60 days of receipt. The audit must be conducted within 6 months of that notice. If additional information is requested, it must be submitted within 14 days of the request or the audit may be suspended. If the requested information is not submitted within 60 days of the request, the audit may be conducted without the requested information. BRRP verifications are subject to the same exceptions referenced under CGS 22a-134a.
CGS 22a-133x - There are no audit deadlines for verifications submitted pursuant to CGS Section 22a-133x (one of the Voluntary Remediation Programs).
BUREAU OF WATER PROTECTION AND LAND REUSE
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
79 ELM STREET, SECOND FLOOR
HARTFORD, CT 06106-5127
Content Last Updated August 10, 2022