Registered Environmental Assessor (REA) Program

DISCONTINUATION OF THE REA PROGRAM

The recently signed 2012/2013 California budget removed the Registered Environmental Assessor (REA) Program from statute, effective July 1, 2012.  The REA Program was created in 1987 to provide qualified environmental professionals to help businesses comply with environmental standards.  In November 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) final rule became effective.  The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (the “Brownfields Amendments”) amended CERCLA to provide protections from liability for certain landowners and prospective purchasers of properties who can demonstrate compliance with specific statutory criteria and did not cause or contribute to contamination at the property.  The process includes conducting an AAI by an Environmental Professional as defined by 40 Code of Federal Regulation Section 312.10.  The federal and state definitions of an “Environmental Professional” differ, and therefore a person who qualifies as a REA may not meet the federal standard.  In order to avoid confusion and to ensure consistency with the federal rule, the REA Program has been discontinued and REAs are now defined as Environmental Professionals.      

Elimination of the REA Program will simplify the process for environmental professionals and property owners for the following reasons:

  • There is no application process, initial or annual fees under the AAI.  It is up to the Environmental Professional to ensure that they meet and follow the federal requirements. More information about Environmental Professionals can be found here:http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/aai/ep_deffactsheet.pdf.Information about All Appropriate Inquiries can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/aai.  
  • Property owners will be ensured that the liability protections they qualify for under the Brownfields Amendments will apply to them if they follow the AAI rule, including hiring a qualified Environmental Professional.

All refunds for the REA 2012 Annual fee, new, five year renewal and reinstatement applications have been processed and mailed to the addresses on file. If you have questions, please contact Adrianne Howze at (916) 322-2448 or AHowze@dtsc.ca.gov