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May 21, 2018

Environmental issues kill real estate deals…what you don’t know can cost you!


Environmental issues kill real estate deals…what you don’t know can cost you!

Question 1 of 10.

You are looking to purchase this property for your new business venture. What is the best way determine if a gas station historically operated onsite?

1. Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)
2. Geophysical survey
3. Phase II ESA
4. All of the above

Gas stations are good investments, but they carry substantial environmental risk. Always look before you leap!

Question 2 of 10.

What does a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) provide?

1. Understanding of potential recognized environmental conditions on a property
2. Liability protection
3. An understanding of risk on a property
4. All of the above

Without a Phase I ESA you will be responsible for remediation of the property even if you didn’t cause it.

Question 3 of 10.

You have an asbestos survey conducted and asbestos is present above 1% in the floor tile. The renovation is to include installing vinyl floor tile over the asbestos floor tile. Is this likely an acceptable method of dealing with this material?

1. Yes
2. No

Provided the floor tile is in good condition placing new tile or other (non-asbestos) material over is a form of encapsulation. A cheap fix!

Question 4 of 10.

What chemical used in dry cleaning causes the most environmental problems?

1. Perchloroethylene
2. Methylamine
3. Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether
4. Perchlorate

Unlike petroleum which floats on water, perchloroethylene (“perc”) is a “sinker”. This makes investigation and remediation of this carcinogen difficult, time-consuming and very costly!

Question 5 of 10.

According to the EPA, how costly are most dry cleaner soil cleanups?

1. $4,000 - $5,000
2. $400,000 to $500,000
3. $4,000,000 to $5,000,000

When groundwater is impacted, dry cleaner remediation can be as high $3 million.

Question 6 of 10.

Does a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment include sampling soil and ground water?

1. Yes
2. No

A Phase I ESA scope of work includes: historical research, government agency reviews, interviews and a site visit.

Question 7 of 10.

How old does a building have to be to need an asbestos survey prior to renovation or demolition?

1. Built prior to 1950
2. Constructed after 1980
3. Built after 1990
4. It doesn’t matter what year it was built

Even buildings certified by an architect to have been constructed free of asbestos, still must undergo an inspection.

Question 8 of 10.

Your firm purchases a property in Ohio that was historically a gas station in 1988 and an underground storage tank (UST) is discovered during construction. The former owner is now deceased. Is your firm responsible for the removal of the UST and clean up?

1. Yes
2. No

According to the EPA, the average gas station cleanup is around $130,000

Question 9 of 10.

Your firm has a Phase I conducted of a site and contamination is known to exist based on historical research. What are your options?

1. PROCEED TO A PHASE II
2. PROCEED TO REMEDIAL ACTIONS (CLEAN UP)
3. DECIDE NOT TO PROCEED WITH THE TRANSACTION
4. ALL OF THE ABOVE

Alternatively, if you conducted the Phase I with an intent to purchase, you could use this information to negotiate a lower sale price.

Question 10 of 10.

What is the chemical of concern associated with dental offices?

1. Perchloroethylene
2. Mercury
3. Lead
4. Methylamine

If improperly managed, dental amalgam waste--which contains mercury and silver waste--may be released into the environment.

Next question 1 of 10

All 10 questions completed!


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Environmental issues kill real estate deals…what you don’t know can cost you!

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