In every commercial real estate (CRE) transaction these issues are vital risk assessment considerations:hazardous substances, endangered species, critical habitat, cultural resources, regulatory audits or wetlands.Environmental due diligence concerns identifying the specific issues related to a property or business. Then developing the course of action that deals with each or all of them objectively, financially and legally.
Some see the plethora of issues we’ve mentioned as insignificant. If you are that person and not convinced, here are a few ‘bottom line’ reasons why Environmental diligence is necessary, not just for the property sale or acquisition, but as both a civic, social and personal responsibility for owners and employees.
- Federal superfund law imposes severe liabilities on purchasers, sellers, and lenders of contaminated property even if they did not cause the contamination. The liabilities apply whether they still own the property and had no prior knowledge of the violations.
- In Florida there are thousands of known contaminated properties and many remain unidentified, therefore, the likelihood of inheriting the risk problem is high.
- Water is a vital resource for everyone. Prevention of pollution is far more effective, cheaper and safer than cleaning up contaminated water.As business entities we are allmembers of a fragile planet and an oftenlitigious local community.A life alteringresponsibility for all is to help protect drinking water quality. Business owners are in a good position to work with others in protecting drinking water supplies for their own benefit and that of the community.
Critically important rules have been published by the U.S. EPA offering some legal amelioration of risk. Many states offer defenses against environmental liabilities. The defense provides that the defendant conducts “all appropriate inquiries” regarding the property at the time of acquisition and takes reasonable steps to mitigate the effects of hazardous substances found on the property.
GeoTech offers a full complement of environmental due diligence services, including:
- Limited Environmental Due Diligence
- Environmental Compliance Reviews and Audits
- Best Management Practice (pollution prevention) for the business activity
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
- Phase II Site Investigations
In order to establish the “innocent landowner defense” and protect yourself against significant cleanup costs steps must be taken. The Phase I or II ESA must be performed by a qualified environmental consultant and in accordance to the current ASTM standard. Certain timeframes must be complied with relative to purchase and all information must be up to date. Here are reasons why you should use GeoTech:
- GeoTech employs Environmental Professionals who are qualified as defined by CERCLA Law or 40 CFR. 312.10(b).
- GeoTech has performed over 2,100 Phase I ESAs and has 27+ years of familiarity with nearly all property types, uses and varied environmental issues that are likely to be investigated in Florida.
- GeoTech routinely assesses and remediates various contaminant types (petroleum, solvents, and hazardous materials) found in many property markets such as agricultural land, auto repair facilities, electroplaters, dry cleaners, gas stations, industrial facilities (paper, beverage, food processing), military sites, county facilities and used oil refiners.
- If financing, we are approved by most lenders.
- GeoTech’s fees to conduct Environmental Due Diligence are below the industry standard. Please call us for site-specific concern and we will provide you a written proposal within 24 hours.
- If stated otherwise, GeoTech will deliver the ESA report within 7 business days.
- GeoTech can also provide additional supporting services such as asbestos survey, radon screening, lead-based paint survey, or water quality testing.