Due Diligence and Regulatory Compliance Audit
Ever changing environmental laws and regulations, heightened public awareness over exposure to hazardous substances, and liability suites have increased the potential environmental liability associated with commercial and industrial activities. Those who own, finance, operate, or sell properties realize the potential impact of environmental contamination on the value of their properties. The due diligence assessment and regulatory compliance audit (Phase I) help clients understand property conditions with respect to the presence or absence of hazardous substances. They also contain evaluations of the likelihood of a facility/site being degraded due to past and current practices and incidents involving hazardous materials.
The assessments and audits are designed to reduce the likelihood of purchasing (or selling) a property that has been impacted by hazardous materials. Potentially degraded property might have associated liability and/or site remediation costs due to environmental conditions that exist prior to purchase of the property. When the assessment and/or audit indicate a significant potential onsite contamination, Panacea conducts a site investigation (Phase II) to better understand the nature and extent of contamination and supports an estimation of remediation costs.
The assessments and audits may include the following:
- Review of permits and facility operations
- Research and evaluation of historical aerial photographs and Sanborn maps, as well as title search
- Interviews of current and previous tenants, owners, and personnel familiar with the site
- Review of regulatory agency records and available databases
- Review of present site activities and conditions
- Evaluation of soil and hydrogeological conditions
- Assessment of the potential presence of hazardous substances at the site
Purchasing a property without first researching the potential environmental impact can result in significant losses and incur substantial liability. However, it is not always necessary to avoid properties that have been impacted by chemicals. These properties can be attractive investment opportunities when the relevant environmental factors are understood and evaluated. Panacea provides the guidance for evaluation and remediation of properties.