Guidance for Brownfields Covenant applicants

The Attorney General's Office provides these tips for the speedy and smooth negotiation of Brownfields Covenants Not to Sue.

Tips from the AGO Brownfields Unit

Talk to us early.

Call to discuss your project and the process for acquiring a Brownfields Covenant Not to Sue. Once we receive preliminary information in the first telephone call, we will notify the appropriate Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection region and schedule a pre-application meeting to provide guidance on the applicability of a Brownfields Covenant Not to Sue to a proposed project and to discuss the proposed remediation of the property.  At the first meeting, we will discuss the process and timing of submitting an application. 

Provide deadlines for closing on the property.

We make every effort, within the limits of our authority, to see that the negotiation of a Brownfields Covenant Not to Sue does not hold up your project. We understand that a Brownfields Covenant Not to Sue may be necessary for other pieces of the project to go forward. It will make the process run more smoothly, if you provide us with all deadlines as soon as possible and to update the deadlines as they change.

Provide the AGO with information on any outreach to municipality.

The Attorney General's Office will want to know about any outreach to the municipality in which the project is located and if the municipality is in favor of the project and would like to see it move forward.

Prepare Third Party Notices.

Once you submit your final application (after the AGO has reviewed the drafts), you have 5 days to send out third party notices as required by the regulations.  Time the submission of your final application and make sure that you have prepared the service list for those who need to receive notice in-hand or by certified mail and ask the Attorney General's Office any notice-related questions ahead of time, to avoid trouble getting all notices served by the deadline. It may take longer than expected to find correct contact information, especially for former owners of the site and absentee owners of abutting property.


Need more information?

The AGO has also prepared answers to frequently asked questions from prospective applicants. Download and view a copy of these questions:

To discuss the details of your individual project, please contact the AGO Brownfields Covenant Program.

For a list of funding and technical assistance programs that may be helpful to property owners, developers, and communities, visit the MassDEP Brownfields Cleanup page.