Environmental liabilities, such as land contamination, can devalue a property and potentially cause human health and environmental impacts. Environmental due diligence is the evaluation of such environmental liabilities associated with a site or facility. Environmental due diligence audits are a crucial element of land or company acquisitions given that new investors may be liable for site remediation.
Environmental due diligence audits will help establish investors’ confidence and aid in accurate property valuation, which takes into account associated environmental liabilities. If environmental liabilities are identified, environmental due diligence audits can determine the extent of the contamination, and appropriate site remediation measures.
Phase I and II assessments
In order to determine the potential for environmental liabilities associated with soil or groundwater contamination, a Phase I Site Investigation is carried out. This is a comprehensive review of available data to determine potential sources, pathways and receptors of contamination.
Phase I Site Investigation, which includes:
Verification of the current and historic land uses of the site and the surrounding area.
Appraisal of environmental databases of the site, with a view to determine site sensitivity to contamination.
Consultation with regulators, such as the EPA and local councils.
Site walkover survey to identify potential hazards and receptors on the ground.
Identification of potential environmental risks and reporting of same.
If the Phase I assessment finds that sufficient residual risk remains, a phase II survey may be initiated.
Phase II Site Investigation includes:
Full supervision of Phase II site monitoring, such as ground and water sampling.
Evaluation of the findings of Phase II site monitoring, with recommendations for site remediation, if necessary.