Purchasing a property without knowing if dangerous environmental liabilities are lurking can be a costly business mistake. But, the fear of the unknown shouldn’t be an impediment when considering a property purchase. To properly follow through with a smart and risk free purchase, you have to understand what a contaminated property is and signs to be cautious of. In order to determine if an environmental risk assessment early on is needed, consider the following:
What is a Contaminated Property?
A contaminated property can include both residential and non-residential premises. Residential properties that are considered tainted must be deemed uninhabitable due to environmental contamination. Non-residential properties that fall under this category must be deemed unusable due to environmental contamination. A state or federal agency must designate the property as an environmentally hazardous site. Some examples of contaminated properties due to their environmental sensitive activities include:
- Industrial Facilities: chemical storage areas and dumping sites
- Maintenance Facilities: potential chemical contaminants and solvents
- Commercial Properties with Leach Fields: accumulation of toxic and chemical materials
Things to Watch out For
There are some potential warning signs related to the possible contamination of properties. You should watch out for the following:
- Contamination from Adjacent Properties: These types of risks don’t always depend on past uses of these premises. The migration and seeping of harmful compounds can come from nearby properties, many times the owners of these properties aren’t financially able or willing to investigate source contamination.
- Recent Improvements: You should be aware and watch out for recent improvements around that property like asphalt, newly planted vegetation, or fresh stone. Stains or distressed vegetation can be an indicator of prior chemical spills.
- Sites with History of Environmental Permits Enforcement Action: It is important to determine that the proper environmental permits have been obtained and that permit conditions have been properly maintained and reported. If a business does not have the proper permits for the current industrial process the new owner could be liable for significant environmental compliance costs.
Environmental Site Assessments with Ensolum
The purpose of an ESA is to examine the presence or threat of a release to the environment. A proper assessment will consider the current and previous uses of a property and rule out environmentally sensitive activities. The assessment will also review regulatory agency files and provide you with a comprehensive answer to the unknown of these properties.
Consider Ensolum for Environmental Site Assessments. We are committed to understanding each client’s specific environmental assessment needs and are able to provide cost-effective solutions.
Whether we are helping clients with third party evaluations of existing affected properties or implementing site investigation work plans, Ensolum’s team approach to managing environmental assessment utilize the most efficient path to regulatory site closure.
Request an assessment with Ensolum by calling 844-500-7775 or complete our contact form.