Whenever commercial real estate is bought or sold, offers and price adjustments are often based on the environmental status of the property.
If environmental contamination is discovered after the sale, the new owner may be held jointly and/or severally liable for cleanup costs. In some instances, the cost of extensive investigation or environmental cleanup alone can exceed the property's normal market value. Since a high percentage of assessed gas stations and drycleaners are found to have some degree of impacted soils and/or groundwater at the site, it is particularly important to closely examine properties that contain or have contained these types of businesses.
LCA is an expert in the environmental evaluation of commercial property. LCA’s services range from reviewing public records and other available property information to conducting on-site testing, sampling, and laboratory analysis. LCA has experience with sites throughout the country, ranging from single-site purchases to acquisitions and divestitures of multi-site real estate portfolios, business chain buyouts, pre-development land purchase, Brownfield redevelopments, etc.
Typically, one senior professional is assigned the task of coordinating logistics on multiple-site projects. This coordinating professional serves as the point of contact for the client and insures uniformity of report format and consistent interpretation of environmental findings. LCA also advises clients during regulatory negotiations to help understand environmental risks, liabilities, and associated costs and operational impacts.
An environmental assessment can consist of multiple phases, with the scope of each project depending on the client's business objectives. Typical assessment phases include:
• Phase I - Phase I Environmental Site Assessment – conducted in general conformance with ASTM 1527-05 and may include multiple additional business environmental risk items.
• Phase II - Soil, Groundwater and Surface Water Contamination Assessment – investigates the specific recognized environmental conditions identified in the Phase I ESA and generates hard data.
• Phase III - Remedial Investigation and/or Opinion of Remediation Cost Estimates – builds on the documentation created in Phase II and seeks to determine the extent and severity of an identified contamination problem.
• Phase IV - Remediation System Design and Cleanup Execution – incorporates all the findings of the first three phases of investigations to design a cost-effective cleanup of the property.