The years starting in 1950 saw a change in the way the environment is viewed,this accelerating in the 21st Century as climate change became an important issue. One of the major impacts is that developers now must take a lot more care when purchasing land,as any contamination could cause them many problems and expense.
With this change came legislation and regulations and environmental law slowly developed into a distinct area,one that overlapped that of construction law when carrying out due diligence on property purchases for new residential developments.
In fact more and more environmental problems came to the fore in the 1980’s than ever before,the majority dealing with prior pollution.
At the start everyone didn’t know quite how to handle this issue,but over time legal practices evolved and were able to cover the necessary research into environmental issues,helping people identify risks associated with any purchase. Putting it simply,purchasers need to know as much as they can at the start,so they can plan and deal with any potential issues.
This is why carrying out 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 obtain as much information as possible. When things are done the right way,it helps to see if contamination is present,identify risks and determine 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 great news is that if some contamination is found it does not necessarily not be the end of the project as it as it then gives developers and attorneys opportunities to be creative. It’s all a part of dealing with the challenges and opposition to a development project.
Plus,now there is the Brownfield Cleanup Program,which provides liability protection,financial assistance and tax payments that are available when you are remediating a site and redeveloping it.
Whenever you are purchasing land,there’s always the concern of what happened on that land in the past,and due diligence in reality,is to make sure the purchaser knows what happened in the past. Basically,due diligence can be boiled 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 this interesting post for more information