Phase I Environmental Site Assessments: What You Need to Know to Close Your Deal

Spencer Fane LLP
Andrew C. Brought

August 10, 2018

This article was originally published in the fall 2015 SIOR Professional Report and written by Andrew Brought. The information remains extremely relevant to businesses making property transactions.

As someone who frequently helps businesses buy and sell commercial and industrial properties, I frequently encounter misunderstandings about Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) and their role in a property transaction. Although not an exhaustive list, these 10 items are among the most important you should know about for your next property transaction.

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EPA contractors

The EPA Proposes Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule

Synergy Environmental, Inc.
Brink Young

August 22, 2018

On August 21st, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule to replace the Obama Administration’s signature climate change regulation. This new plan is designed to scrap the Clean Power Plan and replace it with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. This new rule will establish guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit GHG’s at their power plants. The ACE Rule is intended to empower states, boost energy independence and aid economic growth and at the same time promoting job creation.

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Cooperating with Environmental Regulators Could Cost You Your Coverage on Historical Contamination Sites

King & Spalding LLP
Craig Stanfield

August 15, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Texas Lawyer. © 2018 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

If you manage environmental issues, receiving an unexpected letter from EPA or a state environmental regulator about historic contamination could be the start of a years-long and expensive project. Whether these costs are borne by your company alone or are covered by insurance policies is a question you should raise early with coverage counsel.

The site at issue could be one that no one has ever heard of and for which your company may have scant to no records. Your company’s involvement could have been brief and perhaps insubstantial. Some predecessor entity, which may not operate any longer, could have simply arranged for a small amount of waste to be deposited in a landfill or may have operated briefly at a site. And that activity could have been done entirely in line with standards of the day. But none of those arguments may be enough to avoid investigating and remediating the site.

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New Jersey Kicks Off a New Era of Environmental Enforcement with the Filing of Six New Lawsuits for Natural Resource Damages & Cost Recovery

Manko Gold Katcher & Fox
John F. Gullace and Nicole R. Moshang

August 6, 2018

It has been a decade since the State of New Jersey filed a lawsuit to recover natural resource damages (NRDs) for harm to environmental resources that arose from the contamination of soil or water. On August 1, 2018, the state filed three NRD lawsuits and initiated several cost recovery actions to recover funds incurred by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) at several sites. In a press release and at two press events Commissioner McCabe and Attorney General Grewal described the six new lawsuits as the beginning of a new era of environmental enforcement in New Jersey. According to Attorney General Grewal: “Today is just the beginning. We are going to hold polluters accountable – no matter how big, no matter how powerful, no matter how long they’ve been getting away with it. And we’re sending a message to every company across the state: if you pollute our natural resources, we are going to make you pay. … Today, we’re back in the environmental enforcement business.”

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Drinking Water Providers Seek Pause in Rush to Set MCLs for Emerging Contaminants

Jenner & Block LLP
Steven M. Siros

August 3, 2018

The presence of emerging contaminants such as perfluorinated chemicals (PFOS) and 1,4-dioxane in drinking water often make the headlines as sampling technologies become more sophisticated and these contaminants are being detected with increasing frequency in drinking water systems across the country. There has been a significant push to compel regulators to set regulatory standards and/or issue health advisories for these emerging contaminants, but the impact that these standards and health advisories have on drinking water systems cannot be ignored.

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