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Environmental Due Diligence Archives

Term Definition: Hazardous Material

A major problem with definitions of environmental terms in commercial and real estate transaction documents is that they become overly inclusive, confusing, and unworkable. A definition of "hazardous materials" which includes virtually every substance known to man in any amount at any concentration, will be impossible to satisfy in any representation regarding the absence of hazardous materials on the property. Conversely, a representation regarding "Environmental Laws" or "Environmental Requirements" may be less than anticipated if the definition uses the "list" approach and certain key environmental laws or requirements are not included. Much clarity can be obtained in the operative provisions by using defined terms with consistent and detailed definitions. The definitions often contain the key issues in the transactions and deserve considerable attention. 

Environmental Due Diligence in the Real Estate and Business Deal - Background Legal Principles

By way of background, if you're a real estate lawyer, you'll want to understand that environmental law principles as applied in the context mostly derive from established real estate principles, though with a few twists - others can skim through this discussion or even skip it, but you might find it's interesting. Some of this is borrowed from my environmental law colleague Alan Knauf, with thanks: 

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