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No Further Remediation Letters (NFR Letters)

When soil and/or groundwater concentrations exceed the corrective action objectives, in most cases, owners want to obtain a No Further Remediation (NFR) letter from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.The NFR Letter signifies a release from further responsibilities in performing remedial action and is considered prima facie evidence that the site does not constitute a threat to human health or the environment. The NFR letter is filed with the Office of the Recorder or the Registrar of Titles of the county in which the remediation site is located so that it forms a permanent part of the chain of title and, thereby, notifies future owners of the terms of the NFR letter.

In many cases, property owners can obtain an NFR letter without conducting actual remediation. For example, engineered barriers can be installed over the contaminated soils in order to prevent exposure. Engineered barriers include:

  • Caps constructed of concrete, asphalt, compacted clay, or other approved material
  • Permanent structures such as buildings and parking lots
  • Three to ten feet of clean soil

In order to obtain an NFR letter, the Illinois EPA requires many steps and forms, but the main steps include completing the following reports:

  1. Focused Site Investigation Report;
  2. Remediation Objectives Report;
  3. Remedial Action Plan; and,
  4. Remedial Action Completion Report.

These reports are required even if no remediation is conducted. Within 60 days, the Illinois EPA reviews each of the above plans and reports. The program is completely voluntary, and the remedial applicant (the client) can withdraw at any time without penalty.

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