The period starting in 1950 saw a change in the way the world is viewed,this accelerating in the 21st Century as climate change became a hot issue. One of the major impacts is that developers now must take a great deal of care when purchasing land,as any contamination could cause them a lot of problems and expense.
With this change came legislation and regulations and environmental law slowly developed into a separate area,one that overlapped that of construction law when carrying out due diligence on property purchases for new housing developments.
In fact more and more environmental issues came to the fore in the 1980’s than was the case before,most dealing with prior pollution.
At first everyone didn’t know quite how to handle this problem,but over time legal practices changed and were able to cover the required research into environmental issues,assisting clients identify risks associated with any purchase. Basically,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 vital,especially as now,when you are building something,you are required to do an environmental review. The reason for this process for a buyer of land is to obtain as much information as possible. When things are done correctly,it helps to see if contamination is present,find the risks and determine the effect they could have on the cost and timing of the project.
In some instances there could be portions of the property that you simply can’t develop but you won’t find out until you start looking. It could be seen to be a bit of 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 contamination is found it does not necessarily not be the end of the development as it as it then gives developers and lawyers 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 provides liability protection,financial incentives and tax payments that are available when you are remediating a site and redeveloping it.
Whenever you are purchasing real estate,there’s always the concern of what occurred 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 very start 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