There are many risks to consider before investing in a commercial property. One example is the presence of hazardous and contaminated materials. Potential buyers should hire professionals to perform an environmental site evaluation and property condition assessment NJ to lessen these risks. These evaluations will protect them against possible future liabilities and legal problems.
Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a thorough examination of the ecological conditions of a particular location. It is utilized by property owners, lenders, land developers, and real estate attorneys to detect and analyze potential site contaminants. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERLCA) imposes strict liability on commercial property owners to clean up dangerous pollutants on their property.
In the past, CERCLA established a federal “Superfund” to pay for the cleanup of accidental spills and unmanaged or hazardous waste sites. It allowed the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify individuals responsible for the toxic releases and secure their participation in cleanup operations, including cost recovery.
In its search for potentially liable parties (PRPs), the EPA can investigate former and current property operators for culpability and compensation. Prospective purchasers might also be responsible if they fail to conduct the necessary environmental due diligence before purchasing a property. One way to prevent this is through Phase I Environmental Site Assessments.
For the initial process, an environmental professional will collect and gather the site’s records and documents, including historical directories, aerial photos, land use maps, city records, land titles, and others. Next, a commercial building inspector NJ will visit the site and observe potential contamination sources. The environmental professional will also interview past and present owners to understand the property’s current and historic operations. Lastly, they will gather the data and outline the observations shown from the Phase I ESA report. It can also provide recommendations for improving the property’s recognized environmental conditions.
After obtaining the results of the Phase I ESA report, property owners can opt for Phase II Environment Site Assessments. The investigation will include sampling the site soil and performing laboratory analysis to determine if hazardous materials are in the subsurface.
To learn more about Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in New Jersey, read this infographic from Lockatong Engineering. It offers several property condition assessments, including building inspections and environmental site assessments.