A client walked in my office last week with a problem. He wanted to refinance a property he had bought through foreclosure, but the bank was hesitant to lend. The property had an environmental flag attached to it.
Some time back, the groundwater in the area had been contaminated with a solvent. This solvent could volatize into buildings and the outside air. Nobody knew for sure where the contaminated solvent was coming from. But they knew that the contamination wasn’t good for people to be breathing.
What was he supposed to do?
If you own a piece of contaminated property, and people are working or living on it – you are responsible for making sure it is safe.
Each property owner in his area has been collecting samples to figure out if they are impacted. He will have to have these samples collected too.
Who pays? The property owner.
What if his property is contaminated, what will he have to do? Based on what is going on, we may have to figure out a way to filter or vent the air into the building on his property.
Situations like this in property transactions are common. With the due diligence and research we can provide our clients can have confidence that they are well informed.