LEP Verification Audit Program
An Environmental Program Fact Sheet
The Verification Audit Program is an evaluation process in which DEEP reviews verifications rendered by licensed environmental professionals (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).
Authorizing Statute: Section 22a-133v(g) of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS)
A verification is any 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 CGS; Sections 22a-133k-1 through 22a-133k-3, inclusive, and 22a-133q-1 of the 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.
Upon receipt of a verification, DEEP screens all verifications to ensure the verification is complete and supported with all required documentation. Some are fully evaluated for technical merit and RSR application. DEEP selects verifications for audit based on:
incomplete documentation of the work performed by the LEP,
apparent data gaps in the investigation and/or remediation of the subject property,
apparent misapplication of LEP implementing, site-specific alternative criteria as provided in the RSRs,
the rejected verification history of the LEP,
at random for quality control, and
at the discretion of the Commissioner.
When a verification is selected for an audit, a Notice of Audit (NOA) is issued to the LEP rendering the verification and to the Certifying Party, Responsible Party, or property owner, as applicable. An audit meeting is held to discuss the issues identified by DEEP and to provide an opportunity for the LEP to justify his/her rationale for the verification. Additional information in support of the verification may be presented at this time. DEEP will consider all information presented by the LEP in support of his/her verification and draft an Audit Report.
Any of the following correspondence may be sent to the Certifying Party, Responsible Party, or property owner and the LEP:
Notice of Insufficiency (NOI): Email correspondence sent when the Commissioner determines the Verification Form and/or Report are administratively incomplete and allows 30 days for the LEP to address the insufficiency.
For Verifications submitted after March 4, 2020, Administrative Rejections will replace NOIs.
Administrative Rejection [Stamped copy of Verification Form]: A copy of the first and last page of the Verification Form (VF) will be stamped “Rejected”, initialed, and dated by the Assistant Director of the Remediation Division. The stamped VF, a checklist identifying the reasons the Verification was incomplete, and an informational factsheet will be mailed to the applicable parties.
Letter of No Audit: Sent when the Commissioner does not intend to audit the verification rendered by the LEP.
Rejection of Verification: Sent when the Commissioner determines the data presented clearly indicate that compliance has not been achieved or demonstrated and an audit meeting is not held.
Notice of Audit (NOA): Sent when the Commissioner is auditing the verification rendered by the LEP. The NOA will include the apparent issues that necessitated the audit and propose a time and date for an audit meeting.
Audit Findings: The Commissioner will issue a letter with the results of the audit to the LEP and applicable parties. This letter also describes the next steps following the audit, if any are required.
Audit Report: A report prepared by the Department describing the audit process and meeting about the site. If the verification is found to be insufficient, it includes details of the outstanding issues related to the LEP's verification. The Audit Report will be attached to the Audit Findings letter.
Conclusion of Audit
The audit process is concluded upon issuance of the Audit Findings. If the verification is determined to be appropriate, no further actions regarding the verification and audit proceedings are required.
If the verification is rejected, the applicable Certifying Party, Responsible Party, or property owner will be advised of their continuing legal responsibilities for investigation and remediation of the parcel, establishment, or release area; and usually will require that a revised schedule to complete investigation and/or remediation is submitted. For Form IV Supporting Verifications and Form I or II Verifications, the Certifying Party must submit a Form III, ECAF, and filing fee.
For verifications submitted pursuant to, CGS section 22a-134a(g)(3)(A)
(Transfer Act), an audit must take place within 3 years of receipt of the final verification, unless certain exceptions listed in the statute are met. These exceptions are if the Commissioner has reason to believe:
verification was obtained through the submittal of inaccurate, erroneous, or otherwise misleading information or misrepresentations substantive to the verification;
verification is submitted under an order for the property transfer filing;
post-verification monitoring or operations and maintenance required as part of a verification has not been conducted;
verification relies upon an ELUR that was not properly recorded on the land records;
there has been a violation of CGS sections 22a-134 to 22a-134e; and
the remediation may have failed to prevent a substantial threat to public health or the environment.
For verifications submitted pursuant to CGS Section 22a-133y
(one of the Voluntary Remediation Programs), the Commissioner must notify the property owner within 60 days of receipt of the Final Remediation Report if an audit is being conducted. The audit must be conducted within 6 months of that notice.
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.
There are no audit deadlines for verifications submitted pursuant to CGS Section 22a-133x (one of the Voluntary Remediation Programs) and RCRA Corrective Action.
BUREAU OF WATER PROTECTION AND LAND REUSE
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
79 ELM STREET, SECOND FLOOR
HARTFORD, CT 06106-5127
This overview is designed to answer general questions and provide basic information. You should refer to the appropriate statutes for the specific language. It is your responsibility to comply with all applicable laws. The information contained in this fact sheet is intended only to acquaint you with the verification audit program and does not constitute the Department’s interpretation of the applicable laws.
Content Last Updated February 4, 2020