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NEW MDEQ DATABASE – RECORDED RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS

The Michigan Department of  Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Remediation Division in conjunction with the recommendations from the Collaborative Stakeholders Initiative (CSI) have undertaken a mapping program for plotting all the recorded land use and resource use restrictions.

In conjunction with remediation projects, many property owners are recording Restrictive Covenants which set forth limitation on the future use of the property.  Pursuant to MCL 324.20114(c), a copy of the recorded Restrictive Covenant that is part of a post-closure plan or an MDEQ approved remediation must be filed with the MDEQ.

Provisions of the Restrictive Covenant may include limitations on future use such as installation of drinking water wells, testing of soils during development, maintaining exposure barriers, restricting site use for commercial or industrial purposes only.  The Restrictive Covenant constitutes one element of giving public notice on the limitations of the property.

This online database is available on the MDEQ web site under “environmental mapper” which can be accessed here.  The database can be searched by city and county.  Sites can be identified within a radius of a specific location.

It has been a concern of MDEQ that without plotting this information and reporting use restrictions, the Agency has never had a complete inventory on all the parcels within the state that may be subject to certain future use restrictions.  This inventory also provides an accounting of sites subject to continuous inspection and monitoring.

This source of information may also prove to be a helpful tool for prospective purchasers that undertake Baseline Environmental Audits or Phase I Environmental Audits.  We would anticipate that this database will take several years to be comprehensive or reliable as an investigative tool.

About Susan J. Sadler

Susan J. Sadler is a founding Member of Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler, PLC. She is the head of the Environmental, Energy and Sustainability practice group. She concentrates her legal practice on a broad spectrum of environmental issues.

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