No Need to Fear Environmental Conditions in Real Estate Transactions

Environmental issues play an important role in business and real estate transactions. Environmental conditions of real estate do not necessarily mean the transaction is bad or that a purchaser of contaminated property is liable for contamination cleanup. Federal and state laws encourage redevelopment of contaminated properties. These properties can be redeveloped for beneficial uses without liability to the purchaser if the purchaser complies with certain requirements.

Before purchasing property, a purchaser must assess the environmental conditions of the property. This is initially done through a Phase I site assessment. This assessment involves interviews with past and present owners, a review of historical uses and title history, and visual inspections, among many other factors. If there is cause for concern that the property is contaminated, a Phase II site assessment must be completed. This assessment involves actual testing of soils and groundwater. Even if property is contaminated, one can purchase the property without liability for contamination if he/she files a special report called Baseline Environmental Assessment with the State.

An experienced attorney is able to help a purchaser with the various legal requirements necessary to avoid any liability for contamination. If you have any questions regarding environmental concerns relating to a business or real estate transaction, contact our environmental experts.