Environmental Site Assessments
“Our due diligence efforts can uncover potential problems before a client completes an acquisition, loan, investment, or commercial lease.”
Promulgation of EPA Superfund laws significantly increased and defined the potential financial liability for owners, operators and financial institutions for the clean-up of environmental contamination that might be present on a site. The terms “buyer beware” and “lender liability” have become commonplace in virtually every real estate transaction today.
We can help you minimize the potential liability associated with owning, managing, operating or financing the purchase of real estate. We can conduct the degree of inquiry and investigation necessary to demonstrate satisfactory environmental due diligence including:
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
- Phase II Subsurface Investigations
- Environmental Transaction Screens
- Building Condition Assessments
It is important to understand that performing a quality environmental assessment involves more than experience and technical expertise. Rather this is an “art” which also requires a detailed, systematic approach and patience on the part of the assessor to uncover every possible source of environmental contamination.
The basis for our standardized inquiry are methods produced by ASTM International (ASTM). We adhere to these procedures and to stringent, in-house, quality control and quality assurances procedures to generate an accurate and legally supportable document that details existing and potential environmental risk associated with a given property.
Frequently, a preliminary, or Phase I Environmental Site Investigation uncovers the potential for existing site contamination. In these instances, we can work with you to assess the presence of the suspected contamination. A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is the tool typically employed to perform this work, and we have extensive experience in the performance of Phase II ESA’s on all types of property. ASTM has developed a standard for this process (ASTM E-1903), which we use as our guide.
If contamination is found or suspected on the subject property, it may qualify for being designated a Brownfield. The US EPA defines a Brownfield as a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. We can help with the initial assessments, the application process and coordination with the applicable state and/or federal agencies, remediation planning and implementation (if necessary), and the preparation and implementation of a Property Management Plan.
CERCLA requires “all appropriate inquiry into the previous ownership and uses of a property” in order to satisfy the “innocent purchaser” defense. Under the rule, our system will effectively comply with the appropriate inquiry standard of the rule.