Have you been in the market to buy property, but learned that the property was contaminated? There are steps that you can take to avoid opening yourself up to liability.
So far, in the Periconi, LLC Environmental Law Blog, we've discussed what to do before you purchase a contaminated property (see here) and what to do after you've purchased a contaminated property (see here), but there is a step that often takes place in between - i.e., between contract signing the closing on the purchase - that may be triggered by the results of your Phase I Environmental Site Assessment ("ESA"): the invasive Phase II ESA investigation.
We realized, while writing about the new "Continuing Obligations Standards" for contaminated properties (see here), that in order to give a comprehensive picture of what needs to be done if you're thinking about purchasing a contaminated property, we need to start at the beginning: the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. This has to take place before you purchase the contaminated property.
New guidelines published in 2011 assist landowners in suring that they meet all the requirements - specifically the "continuing obligations" - to avail themselves of the landowner liability protections under the federal Superfund Act.