ACTIVITY AND USE RESTICTION (AUR): Controls imposed at a site to achieve or maintain a condition that is protective of human health and the environment, which is recorded in the registry of deeds for the county in which the site is located. See also Institutional Controls.

ALL APPROPRIATE INQUIRIES (AAI): The assessment or evaluation of a property to identify potential environmental contamination and assess potential liability for any contamination present at the property. See also Phase I ESA.

BROWNFIELDS ASSESSMENT GRANTS (EPA): EPA’s Brownfields Assessment Grants provide funding for a grant recipient to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfields sites.

CERCLA (COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE, COMPENSATION, AND LIABILITY ACT): Commonly known as Superfund, this law created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and provided broad federal authority to respond directly to releases o threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.

ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT: Study or report used to determine the presence and concentration of hazardous contaminants on a piece of land. The analysis typically addresses both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property.

GREENSPACE: This term has several different meanings, including protected areas of undeveloped landscape, open spaces for parks, and the natural environment. In urban areas it often refers to parks and greenways, while in rural areas it often applies to conservation land and the natural environment as well.

GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT PERMIT (GMP): A permit issued pursuant to RSA 485-C:4, VIII and Env-Or 607 to a site owner or responsible party to establish a groundwater management zone, manage the use of contaminated groundwater, and monitor remedial progress.

 HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES: Any material the EPA has designated for consideration under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). These substances possess at least one of four characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity) or appear on special EPA lists.

 INFILL DEVELOPMENT: New construction on previously developed land in cities or developed suburbs or downtown villages. The term often refers to redevelopment of a small residential, commercial, or industrial properties. An important aspect of many infill development projects is the enhancement of the built environment with open space and parks.

 INSTITUTIONAL CONTROLS: Administrative or legal measures that limit human exposure by restricting activity, use, and access to properties with residual contamination. There are two types of institutional controls one can use for a contaminated site in New Hampshire, a Groundwater Management Permit (GMP) and an Activity and Use Restriction (AUR).

PHASE I ESA (ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT): Conducted to evaluate existing environmental problems from past operations and potential environmental problems from current or proposed operations at the site. See also All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI).

PHASE II ESA (ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT): Conducted to confirm the presence of contamination and to further evaluate other environmental conditions identified in the Phase I ESA or transaction due diligence screening process. 

RECOGNIZED ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN (REC): The presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release, or a material threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on the property or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property.

REMEDIAL ACTION PLAN (RAP): Plan that describes the remedial actions that are necessary to render a site protective of public health and the environment for the intended use. There are four categories:

  • unrestricted (cleaned up to the highest standard that enables any use without restriction)
  • restricted residential (highest use of site is residential and some contamination is left onsite requiring some controls)
  • restricted commercial (highest use of site is commercial and some contamination is left onsite requiring some controls)
  • restricted industrial (highest use of site is industrial and some contamination is left onsite requiring some controls)

RISK-BASED CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN: Risk-based corrective action (RBCA) is a generic term for corrective action strategies that categorize sites according to risk and move all sites toward completion using appropriate levels of action and oversight.

SMALL BUSINESS LIABILITY RELIEF AND BROWNFIELDS REVITALIZATION ACT (BROWNFIELDS LAW): Is a 2002 law which modified EPA’s brownfields grants and technical assistance program by increasing funding authority up to $200 million per year; providing grants for assessments, revolving loan funds, direct cleanups, and job training; expanding the entities, properties, and activities eligible for brownfields grants; expanding the Brownfields Program’s applicability to sites with petroleum contamination; providing authority for brownfields training, research, and technical assistance; and clarified Superfund liability for prospective purchasers, innocent landowners, and contiguous property owners. The law also extended liability protection for certain small-volume waste


UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK (UST): A tank and any underground piping connected to a tank that is used to contain gasoline or other petroleum products or chemical solutions where at least 10 percent of its combined volume is underground.

ZONING: The exercise of the civil authority of a municipality to regulate and control the character and use of property