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Environmental Due Diligence

Comprehensive Phase I ESA’s provide clients with the necessary information to make sound business decisions.

HCI performs Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA’s) for lenders, developers, REIT’s, private equity funds, private and public corporations and any entity involved in the acquisition or disposition of real property.

A comprehensive Phase I ESA provides the level of due diligence needed to make sound business decisions. It also uncovers indispensable information used in the preparation of technically-defensible cost estimates, accurate site conceptual models and effective remediation work plans. An improperly performed Phase I ESA often leads to stalled deals and may result in costly litigation.

EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries Final Rule (40 CFR Part 312 – Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries) establishes standards and practices for conducting due diligence assessments. ASTM International’s protocol, “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” (E 1527 – 05) codifies EPA’s final rule.

In order to claim protection from CERCLA liability as an innocent landowner, a bona fide prospective purchaser, or a contiguous property owner, a party must meet the due diligence requirements in EPA’s final rule. As a result, many lending institutions and other interested parties are now requiring that commercial properties be evaluated in accordance with EPA’s final rule or ASTM’s updated protocol prior to closing a deal.

It should be noted that in order to obtain liability on the state level, it may also be necessary, as it is in New Jersey, to fulfill a state’s distinct due diligence requirements.