How investors can deal with contaminated sites(finished)
How Investors Can Deal WithContaminated Sites
By following a timely and measured approach,business owners can protect their investments.
Decades of industrialization and rapid growth haveleft soil and groundwater contaminated atthousands of sites across the U.S. Cleanups areunder way at many locations, and growing publicconcern over the healtheffects of a wide variety ofcontaminants has driventhe federal governmentto create a more stringentenvironmental policy todeal with these issues.Investors and business ownersmust therefore be aware of howto deal with the impacts thatarise from environmental contamination.
Known contamination from a spill is most easilydealt with. For example, when a tanker truckrolls over or a storage tank valve fails, it can bequickly identified and reported to the localdepartment of natural resources (DNR).Discovery through analysis is the most frequentway for historic or older contamination to beuncovered.
Field measurements are taken in order toanalyze the extent of groundwater and soilcontamination. This is the preliminary workneeded to form a remediation plan. Regardlessof the method used to determine the extent ofthe contamination, it needs to be reported tothe local DNR immediately.
A qualified environmentalprofessional should be chosento formulate a plan of action todeal with specific sitecontaminants. In recent years, thelegal and financial consequences related toenvironmental problems have grown exponentially.Investors and business owners must realize there maybe a need for legal representation as a result ofliabilities from environmental hazards found in soil orwater.
Clearly defining the issues will help in theselection of professionals required for thecleanup. Specialized environmental services maybe required for soil, water and air testing anddetailed design, construction servicesmay be necessary,and laboratory andengineering expertisemay also be requiredto remediate issues.Storage tank removal requires differentexpertise than does asbestos abatement.
The roles of various consultants need to beclearly defined, and firms need to be carefullyselected. Select the firm that best meets yourenvironmental and corporate needs, and thennegotiate the fees. Once an agreement isfinalized, work can begin. A team approach isessential to dealing with any environmentalissue. The contractor may be called upon to dothe physical removal of tanks or soil and makestructural changes to the site to prevent futurecontamination.
The nature of the environmentalimpacts may require laboratorytesting to determine the extentof cleanup required and the long-term impacts on the surrounding area. The costof correcting environmental issues is oftenprohibitive to investors considering the purchaseof an industrial site. The burden of remediationwill most often fall to the property owner.
Avoiding the problem is not an option due tothe costly legal, financial and environmentalramifications that can result from contaminants.By following a timely, measured approach,business owners can protect their investmentand secure a future that generations to comewill enjoy.