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What is a Declaration of Environmental Use Restriction (DEUR)?

A DEUR is a restrictive covenant designed to:

  • Document institutional and engineering controls;
  • Allow closure of a site with contamination above residential soil remediation levels;
  • Ensure appropriate future use of the contaminated site.

The purpose of a DEUR is to ensure that current and future property owners are aware of contamination on a site and take appropriate actions to prevent or mitigate additional contamination. The DEUR remains in effect and is monitored by ADEQ until the property owner demonstrates that the release of the DEUR is appropriate.

For example, let's say there is a property with contaminated soil 30 feet underground. A DEUR could approve the property owner to still use the site under certain conditions—like for activities not involving digging more than 10 feet into the ground or further contaminating the soil. A DEUR may be lifted once the existing contamination has been cleaned up.

How Does it Work?

A DEUR runs with and burdens the land and allows ADEQ to take actions necessary to ensure that engineering or institutional controls are maintained throughout the life of the DEUR.

DEUR statutes also allow ADEQ to collect fees necessary for oversight and potential long term maintenance of a DEUR. A DEUR may be applied to a site with soil or groundwater contamination at the discretion of the ADEQ program overseeing the cleanup. Once a DEUR is in place, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the terms of the DEUR and submittal of an annual report to ADEQ demonstrating that the DEUR provisions are being maintained. ADEQ may visit the property and conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with the terms of the DEUR and take appropriate enforcement action, if the terms are not being adequately maintained.

DEUR and Property Redevelopment

Use of this tool often allows properties to be safely closed in a shorter time frame and at less expense than a full scale cleanup, allowing the property to be redeveloped, sold or otherwise put to productive use earlier. Similar to other risk-based closure tools, the DEUR allows a property to be closed with contamination still present. A predetermined or site-specific cleanup level can be identified through the risk evaluation process and used to allow closure. The DEUR documents the closure requirements and maintains notice of those requirements for the entire time that contamination is still present at a site.

 Tracking System

ADEQ maintains a repository listing sites remediated. Site-specific information can be obtained for a particular DEUR recorded or voluntary environmental mitigation use restriction (VEMUR) | Request Records > 

Statewide DEUR Locations

ADEQ provides a GIS map to provide access to environmental data and information, including DEUR locational data | Go to Map >