January 18, 2012  Purchasers of property, especially commercial or industrial property need to be aware of potential environmental liability arising out of past uses of property.  A story “Legal Matters Needn’t Be a Legal Mess” appears in the January 17, 2012 edition of Finance & Commerce found at: http://finance-commerce.com/2012/01/legal-matters-environmental-mess-needn’t-be-a-legal-mess. The article describes liability concerns that should be examined prior to purchase.
 
As the article points out, the general public often views large sites with heavy industrial uses such as the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills, Minnesota, that is under consideration as a possible Vikings stadium site or the  recently closed Ford Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota’s Highland Park neighborhood as properties that need careful review.  However, environmental concerns may arise at all types of properties often at sites where contamination concerns may not be expected.
 
As Diane Crocker, Principal Analyst at Environmental Data Resources (EDR) in Milford, Connecticut, points out in her Market Maven blog post today at: http://commonground.edrnet.com/resources/8661fd50fc/summary, review of environmental conditions is a critical component of due diligence in the purchase of any commercial or industrial property. A comprehensive review, including review of historical databases, aerial photography, fire insurance maps, business directories and state and federal records databases, may reveal a potential concern that could, in turn, minimize significant liability. 
 
With regard to environmental concerns, the watch words: “Buyer Beware” should be heeded. 
 
On March 9, 2011 Joseph Maternowski spoke at EDR’s Due Diligence at Dawn seminar in Minneapolis on the emerging topic of vapor intrusion. Over 75 environmental professionals from Minnesota attended. Federal and state authorities are increasingly requiring assessments of vapor intrusion and the installation of passive or active mitigation systems in existing structures and in new developments.     
 
The lawyers at Hessian & McKasy’s Environmental Law Attorney Practice Group regularly advise clients involved with the purchase, sale or financing of property including commercial and industrial property.  We make recommendations as to the hiring of environmental consultants, review of Phase I Environmental Site Assessment reports and assess whether followup testing may be required. We analyze liability concerns and provide opinions as to risk.  When appropriate we seek liability assurances on behalf of our clients form federal and state authorities. For a consultation as to a specific situation or property, please feel free to call at 612-746-5754 or by sending an e-mail to Joseph Maternowski at jmaternowski@hessianmckasy.com.
 
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Comments

Thiago wrote on Sep 17, 2013 @ 07:49:
Two of my close friends are environmental consultants. They’ve been doing it for about three years and love the idea of giving the right attention to every aspect of urbanization that can impact the environment.