Environmental Due Diligence
Environmental Due Diligence is a standard practice in commercial real estate. Time often obscures liabilities due to environmental contamination and can add significant cost to acquiring and rehabilitating properties. Buyers, sellers, and lenders alike benefit from the knowledge and protection afforded by Environmental Due Diligence, known as the Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) process.
Commercial property buyers, lenders, or agents often request Phase I ESAs. This assessment typically involves historical research, interviews, review of state and federal databases, and a visit to the property by an Environmental Professional. Phase II ESAs involve collecting representative samples of environmental media (soil, groundwater, air, etc.) for laboratory analysis to quantify whether the environmental condition identified by a Phase I ESA constitutes an actual release of contaminants to the environment by the Subject Property.
Stone's Environmental Due Diligence Services include:
- Phase I ESAs using industry standards published by ASTM International, including Standard Practices for Phase I ESAS (E1527 & E2247)
- Environmental baseline surveys (D6008)
- Phase II ESAs (ASTM E1903), as well as the Standard Guide for vapor encroachment screening on property involved in real estate transactions (E2600)
- Environmental Transaction Screens using the ASTM industry standard. E1528 Standard Practice for Limited Environmental Due Diligence: Transaction Screen Process
- Review of existing environmental reports
- Application support for the Vermont Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation (BRELLA) Program
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Review, including for: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding, U.S. Department of Agricultural (USDA), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) easements and grants, and Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) programs
Helpful Tips from Our Staff Experts
Below are a few helpful tips based on our over 40 years of combined staff experience in Environmental Due Diligence:
- Consider conducting Environmental Due Diligence early in the property acquisition, grant application, or project planning process. Know the environmental risks and available funding and liability-protection options before you commit to a property sale or a development project.
- Phase II ESAs may be performed before or after the sale of a property depending on the User's tolerance of risk and site attributes. Stone Environmental can provide advice throughout the project planning and decision-making process to limit or eliminate environmental liability
- Are you relying on a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment that is more than six months old, or that was completed for someone other than yourself or your organization? Contact Stone to discuss whether additional Environmental Due Diligence may be warranted to protect the interests of you or your organization.
Environmental Due Diligence & Brownfields Redevelopment
Environmental Due Diligence is also an integral part of Brownfields redevelopment. At Stone Environmental, we are recognized experts in Federal and State programs such as:
- EPA Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants;
- Brownfield Revolving Loan Funds;
- Vermont Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation (BRELLA) Program;
- Vermont Brownfields Economic Revitalization Alliance (BERA); and
- Vermont Community Development Program (VDCP).
Stone Environmental has assisted municipal and private clients in obtaining access to these popular programs for over 10 years, leveraging millions of dollars in federal and State monies to support development projects on underutilized or environmentally-impacted properties. Learn more by visiting our Brownfields Redevelopment services.