The years starting in 1950 saw a change in the way the world is viewed,this accelerating in the 21st Century as the changing climate became an important issue. One of the biggest impacts is that developers now must take a lot more care when buying land,as any contamination could cause them many problems and money.
With this change came laws and regulations and environmental law gradually developed into a distinct area,one that overlapped that of construction law when performing due diligence on property purchases for new housing projects.
In fact more and more environmental issues came to the fore in the 1980’s than ever before,most dealing with prior pollution.
At first everyone didn’t know quite how to handle this issue,but over time legal practices changed and were able to cover the necessary research into environmental issues,assisting clients identify risks associated with any purchase. Putting it simply,purchasers need to know as much as they can up front,so they can plan and deal with any highlighted issues.
This is why thinking about due diligence is so very important,especially as now,when you are building something,you are required to do an environmental review. The purpose of this process for a buyer of land is to collect as much information as possible. When things are done correctly,it helps to pinpoint if contamination is there,identify risks and see the effect they could have on the cost and timing of the project.
In some case there could be portions of the property that you simply can’t build on, but you won’t find out until you start looking. It looks just like a treasure hunt as “You don’t know what you’re going to run into until you get into the ground.”
The good news is that if some problems are found it does not necessarily not be the end of the development as it as it then gives builders and attorneys opportunities to be creative. It’s all a part of evaluating the challenges and opposition to a development project.
Plus,now there is the Brownfield Cleanup Program,which gives liability protection,financial assistance and tax credits that are available when you are remediating a site and redeveloping it.
Whenever you are buying real estate,there’s always the concern of what happened on that land historically,and due diligence in reality,is to make sure the buyer understands what happened in the past. Basically,due diligence can be broken down to asking the right questions at the outset of the purchasing journey,thus protecting the purchaser against liability. Once the risks are known,clients can decide if a project is feasible and can be financed and completed on budget.
See insurance for contaminated land for more information