Environmental Due Diligence
Developing, owning, maintaining, and financing commercial real estate requires input from many different professionals. Our environmental consulting firm is regularly retained to evaluate, quantify, and minimize the potential for risk from existing environmental conditions during the acquisition and/or financing of commercial real estate. Environmental issues can limit potential uses of real estate, reduce its value, and be costly to address. Therefore, it is important to know whether or not environmental issues exist on a property and that those issues are properly evaluated as part of the overall due diligence process.
Each year, Triterra performs numerous Environmental Due Diligence Assessments (Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments, Transaction Screens, etc.) in response to property and facility transactions throughout the Midwestern United States. Triterra has become well known for our ability to deliver quick turnarounds, exceptional quality in our assessment efforts, and meaningful clarity in our reports. We put ourselves in our clients’ shoes in order to provide the best possible options to address recognized environmental conditions and assist with management of environmental risks.
Our approach to environmental due diligence is a well-developed process that utilizes industry best practices with our extensive experience and consideration of deal-specific requirements (i.e., lending institution policies, MSHDA or SBA procedures, time constraints, need for confidentiality, etc.). We understand that every deal is unique and each parcel of real estate has its own distinctive history. In most cases, the first step in the process is a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) that has been prepared in accordance with the ASTM E1527-05 and E1527-13 standards. These standards meet federal All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) rules that establish an “innocent landowner” status. Depending on the nature of the transaction, other less exhaustive and costly evaluation methods are sometimes appropriate. These alternatives include Desktop Reviews, Environmental Questionnaires, Records Searches with Risk Assessments, and Environmental Transaction Screens.
Any of these levels of due diligence may be sufficient to determine whether or not there are environmental concerns depending on the specifics of the property and the client’s tolerance for risk. When concerns are identified and additional investigation is warranted, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment will be proposed. The Phase II ESA generally involves intrusive sampling of soil, groundwater, and/or vapors to evaluate whether or not potential risks identified by the initial due diligence represent the presence of actual contamination.
In cases where contamination is identified, Triterra communicates the significance of the findings and identifies strategies to minimize the potential for risk and/or liability. These strategies vary from state to state depending on applicable regulations. For instance, in Michigan, buyers of contaminated property are permitted to complete a Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) process that limits their liability for existing contamination provided that they exercise “Due Care” as part of the future use of the property. Other circumstances may require that remediation or other corrective action be taken. Triterra has the expertise to ensure that appropriate actions are taken for every potential scenario.
Our Environmental Due Diligence Services include:
- Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments
- Environmental Transaction Screens
- Custom Environmental Property Screens
- Vapor Encroachment Screens
- Owner/Purchaser Consultations
- Baseline Environmental Assessments
- Due Care Plans
- Site-specific Risk Assessments
- Investigation & Remediation Plans
Please contact us for more information on our Environmental Due Diligence Services.