When you invest in raw land and/or commercial property, be sure you know what environmental issues you might have to deal with.
John Brennan, president of Brennan Environmental, Inc. in Summit, New Jersey, offers tips on how to complete environmental due diligence prior to closing on a commercial property. He says the environmental firm you hire should gather as much information about the property’s past by doing the following:
- Records on file with the local municipality and the DEP should be reviewed.
- Interviews with past and present owners, operators and occupants of the facility should be conducted in order to determine previous uses of the property and how they may have changed over the years.
- Historical sources since the property was first developed, including chain of title, aerial photos and land-use records should all be reviewed as well.
- Federal, state, tribal and local government records need to be reviewed to learn about any spills or releases that occurred on the property.
- Searches of recorded environmental liens against the facility that are filed under federal, state or local law should be conducted to examine any unresolved issues.
Finally, Brennan says, visual inspections of the facility and adjoining properties should be conducted in order to learn about potential impacts from existing use and off-site sources that may contribute to environmental issues on the subject property.
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