CEQ: State Lands Transfer Process

State Lands Transfer Process

 
When a state agency proposes to sell or transfer land, in most cases it must publish a notice in the Environmental Monitor. This requirement also pertains to transfers of partial interests in land, such as easements granted to private parties or municipalities. The public has an opportunity to comment on any such proposed transfer; each notice includes an address where comments should be sent.
 
While all of the other notices in the Environmental Monitor are required by the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA), the law that requires notice of proposed land transfers is entirely separate. In fact, if a proposed transfer of state land has been the subject of an Environmental Impact Evaluation prepared pursuant to CEPA, then a public notice in this section of the Environmental Monitor is not required. This is just one of several categories of land transfers that are not required to be published in the Environmental Monitor. The complete law, including all of the exceptions, can be found in Section 4b-47 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
 
A proposed transfer of state land will result in publication of one or several (up to five) notices in the Environmental Monitor. *
 
A. Mandatory Public Notice and Opportunity for Public Comment
 
The process begins (and may end) with a public notice and opportunity for public comment.
 
An agency proposing to transfer state land publishes a notice in the Environmental Monitor of the proposed transfer, which includes an opportunity for any person to comment within 30 days. After the end of the comment period, one of two things could happen:
If no comments are received, the property may be transferred with no further public notice.
 
OR
 
If comments are received, the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) will publish the comments and OPM's responses to those comments in the Environmental Monitor. When the responses are published, the property then may be transferred after 15 days with no further public notice.
B. Optional Review by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
 

B-1: Evaluation with Public Notice and Comment:  The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may elect to evaluate the property and may recommend that the land be preserved or that conditions be imposed on the transfer. There is no time limit for this review. The Commissioner's report and draft recommendations will be published in the Environmental Monitor with another 30-day public comment period.

 

B-2:  Final DEEP Recommendations:  If the DEEP Commissioner has published a draft recommendation for public review and comment (B-1, above), then DEEP will publish any comments it receives in the Environmental Monitor along with DEEP's responses and the Commissioner's final recommendations regarding the property.

 

B-3: Final Determination by OPM:  If the DEEP Commissioner makes a recommendation for the land, the last step in the process is the publication of OPM’s final determination in the Environmental Monitor regarding disposition of the property. The property then may be transferred after 15 days with no further public notice, in accordance with OPM's determination.


 

* IMPORTANT :   Most proposed transfers do not go through all of the above steps. The land may be sold or transferred after the close of the initial public comment period of Step A if no comments are received. (That is, it may be transferred after a single notice.)  If comments are received but DEEP does not elect to conduct and publish a more thorough study of the property, the land may be sold or transferred 15 days after publication of the public comments and OPM's responses to those comments (that is, after a total of two notices). The proposed transfer will be the subject of four or five notices only if there are comments from the public and if DEEP conducts an optional evaluation and offers a recommendation. 


You can view a flow chart of the steps described above.

 

Note: some sales of surplus state properties also require approval by two committees of the General Assembly; this and other procedural requirements unrelated to publication in the Environmental Monitor can be found in Section 4b-21  of the Connecticut General Statutes.


The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) maintains a list of properties that have been through the public comment phases that includes links to comments received and the OPM's responses. The OPM website also presents an overview of the entire process for disposing of surplus state properties.



Content Last Modified on 11/24/2014 11:43:01 AM