As construction and real estate grow, you may be thinking about purchasing land for development or selling your property. To practice environmental due diligence, the owner of a property may be liable for any hazardous or petroleum contaminants, whether they existed before ownership of the land or not, as defined in The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA).
A property owner, lender, broker or investor may opt to assess environmental risk by completing an Environmental Transaction Screen (ETS). The purpose of an ETS is to determine if there are possible contaminants on a property by at minimum a site inspection, truncated historical review, environmental database review, and environmental questionnaire completed by owner.
Although an Environmental Transaction Screen is not replete in identifying all existing factors that may contaminate a site, it is a low-cost method to help determine whether a more extensive audit is required such as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.