In-depth assessments that give you peace of mind with every transaction.
You need to know the risk factors you’re up against when purchasing a property, upgrading an existing facility, or selling an asset. Environmental liabilities relating to land or water contamination, or existing permit requirements can be unnoticed, resulting in cost and delays for a project. Assessing the potential risks and environmental issues is critical before taking title to property.
Environmental due diligence is a formal process that assesses real estate for potential risk of environmental contamination. This process has become an essential component of the commercial-industrial real estate transaction. Conducting environmental site assessments has the goal of providing an independent, professional opinion regarding recognized environmental conditions. For over 30 years, BLE’s environmental consultants have performed hundreds of Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) across the US with supporting services in asbestos materials surveys, lead-based paint surveys, vapor intrusion surveys, property condition assessments, wetland delineations, Brownfield Voluntary Cleanup Contracts, and numerous other due diligence concerns.
Phase I and II ESAs are meticulously conducted using standard ASTM and All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) methods. Once our assessments are complete, we help our clients develop detailed paths forward to manage liabilities of specific sites or property portfolios. Our due diligence services include:
- Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments
- Redevelopment strategies and Brownfield VCC consulting
- Asbestos materials surveys, lead-based paint surveys and mitigation
- Wetland delineations
- Property Condition Assessments
- Soil gas/vapor intrusion & mitigation
- Environmental risk assessment
- Environmental audit of facilities and operations
- Identification and monetization of environmental liabilities
- Strategic advice on risk and liability management
- Remediation services including verification and validation
Our clients are developers, lenders, owners, asset managers and legal counsel to provide practical evaluations and options. For our lender clients, we understand that prudent risk management starts with property-related risk at the time of the underwriting and continues over the life of loan. Whether you’re a corporation managing a portfolio of properties, or a company seeking the next location for expansion, BLE has the resources you need to quickly assess properties with various complex operations or unique issues. We provide the information and tailored reports needed for critical business decisions at the speed of the transaction.
Basic steps of evaluating potentially contaminated property for purchase or development take a systematic approach to protect buyers and lenders from environmental liability:
- Conduct a Phase I ESA to identify recognized environmental conditions that could pose financial or regulatory liability for owners and lenders. If needed, conduct a Phase II ESA to quantify contaminants to property soils and/or water.
- If buildings are on site, determine the need for asbestos, lead-based paint, mold, etc. surveys, or for subsurface characterization. Operating facilities may also exhibit industrial hygiene or regulatory compliance concerns. New site development plans may require wetlands or natural resource determinations.
- Identify regulatory pathways available such as Brownfield redevelopment options.
- Bring together stakeholders including, property owners, buyers, developers, banks, legal counsel and regulators to develop strategies and time lines.
- Based on test results, regulatory options and economic criteria, develop a plan to successfully move forward. A remedial action plan that is feasible and cost-effective should support sustainable end-use goals and manage risk for all parties concerned.
While there is a clear downside in neglecting to consider environmental risks, there is also the possibility of realizing redevelopment opportunities that may present viable projects for investment and community enhancement. We are experts at identifying regulatory pathways available through Brownfield redevelopment programs in most States and USEPA. For companies pursuing Brownfields redevelopment opportunities:
- Environmental knowledge can be turned to commercial advantage in land transactions
- Environmental liabilities can be identified and quantified so that they can be managed
Vapor intrusion (VI) is an environmental condition that occurs when volatile chemicals in soil or groundwater vaporize and migrate into indoor air, much like radon gas. VI may result in adverse impacts to a property, from potential health risks for building occupants to a reduction in the property value.
VI issues are often discovered during site redevelopment and can be a critical environmental risk issue impacting the building construction. Our environmental staff has conducted numerous soil vapor investigations in addition to mitigation solutions. We have completed every step of the vapor intrusion investigation process: sampling and analysis plans; determining potential risk to occupants; installation and sampling activities related to exterior soil gas; sub-slab soil gas and indoor air; vapor intrusion modeling; interpretation of sampling and model results; interpretation of specific State and USEPA guidance; and installation and maintenance of mitigation systems.
Property Condition Assessments
Property Condition Assessments (PCA) are commonly used to establish a building’s condition before a real estate closing, when substantial financial implications are under consideration. The goal of a PCA is to identify and communicate physical deficiencies to a commercial property. This is accomplished by performing a walk-through survey, interviewing site representatives, and conducting research on the structure(s). We strive to act as a partner and a consultant by providing timely, reliable, and relevant assessments.
Our PCAs are conducted by engineering professionals in accordance with the most current ASTM Standard, ASTM E2018. The information observed during the walk-through survey and obtained during review of available documents and interviews is documented in a Property Condition Report (PCR). Most relevant, the PCR includes opinions of short-term costs and suggested remedies to address physical deficiencies, as well as a 12-year estimated Capital Reserves table.
Our professionals provide observations, data, findings, and opinions important to identifying current deficiencies to a property and anticipating future capital costs.