Capitalizing on Sites with Environmental Property Damage: Is There Really a Pot of Gold at the End of that Rainbow?

Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Kara Cleary

March 15, 2016

When a company learns that it has a site suffering from environmental property damage, “profit” is the last thing on that company’s mind. Rather, the terms that company is more likely thinking about in this situation are those like losses, risk, environmental agency scrutiny, costly and lengthy remediation, bad press, etc. A recent article in the New York Times titled “Turning Polluted Properties Into Profits” takes an alternative view of the value of sites with environmental property damage.

The article discusses a new business model and group of investors who are actively seeking out these properties in order to buy them, clean them up, then sell them for a profit. However, as the article noted: “insurance is key.”

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Five Essentials for Managing Deal Risk

WilmerHale LLP
Robert F. Fitzpatrick, Jr., Mark C. Kalpin, H. David Gold, Bonnie Heiple

February 25, 2016

Oil prices have fallen below $30 per barrel for the first time in more than a decade. This trend, along with the shale gas boom, evolving regulatory constraints, and a growing focus on renewables, have made one thing clear: the oil and gas industry is getting a makeover.

While these developments are subjecting many companies to financial distress, the current market is creating opportunity for others—including investors who are new to the space. Crucial to each forthcoming transaction is a thoughtfully crafted, well-implemented diligence program. From the real estate and environmental perspectives, such a program should confirm asset valuation, identify risks, and provide a basis for estimating contingent or future financial obligations.

Based on recent developments, here are five things to consider in shaping a diligence program at the front end of a transaction.

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Synergy Environmental, Inc.
David Robinson, LSRP

­March 17, 2015

There are many changes with respect to LSRP’s responsibilities and the way some reports must be submitted.  These include:

Starting April 2, 2016, all Remedial Investigation Reports MUST be submitted through NJDEP’s Online Portal.  You must be registered for NJDEP Online access:

For instructions on how to use the Portal and upload documents.

Since the beginning of the LSRP program, the discharge reporting requirements for LSRPs have not been clear.  At the Site Remediation Advisory Group meeting on March 9, 2015, representatives of the NJDEP cleared up the following:

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US EPA Proposes to Include Vapor and Other Subsurface Intrusions Component to NPL Hazard Ranking System

Squire Patton Boggs
Lisa J. Zak

March 2, 2016

US EPA may make a significant change to the Hazard Ranking System, the system utilized to determine which sites are eligible for inclusion on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).  (See the proposed rule here.)  Currently, the Hazard Ranking System evaluates four exposure pathways when determining eligibility:  ground water migration, soil exposure, surface water migration, and (outdoor) air migration.  US EPA is proposing to modify the soil exposure pathway to include subsurface intrusion (SsI).  SsI includes all migrations of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants from the subsurface into aboveground structures regardless of the medium of transport.  Vapor intrusion (VI) is the most common form of SsI.  VI occurs when there is a migration of volatile chemicals into an aboveground structure from contaminated ground water or soil.  SsI is broader than just VI however and can also occur through the intrusion of contaminated groundwater.  For example, SsI may occur when contaminants in groundwater directly enter a structure’s basement and then vaporizes in the structure.

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