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Environmental Claims During Redevelopment and Construction

October 14, 2020

What is Redevelopment?

Redevelopment is any new construction on a site that has pre-existing uses. It represents a process of land development used to revitalize the physical, economic, and social fabric of urban space. In many instances a redevelopment project involves revamping a historical property to provide new commercial and/or residential property uses that sometimes keep some of the nostalgic artifacts of the pre-existing space. Other redevelopment projects involve demolishing the historical structures and creating a new building or structure from the ground up.  

Redevelopment Risks

The risks associated with such redevelopment activities include pollution discoveries associated with historical site uses. Such pollution events can often be costly to clean up and imperative to move forward with redevelopment of the site.

Identifying Potential Environmental Impacts Associated with Redevelopment Sites

Before any redevelopment project starts, proper avenues of due diligence should be followed to identify any environmental risks. Such activities usually include the development of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) followed by a Phase II ESA that includes invasive sampling techniques to determine the presence or absence of potential impacts. Oftentimes, these environmental concerns can be properly addressed by preparing a Site Mitigation Plan to be followed during construction activities. However, there are instances where even though environmental concerns are addressed through proper due diligence channels, additional, unanticipated cleanup actions may be necessary to safely redevelop and occupy the space.    

If an unanticipated pollution event is identified or discovered during redevelopment activities, it is helpful to understand the cause, source, and timing of the event. A review of the available due diligence documentation can help to determine if the event was known or a new discovery. Additionally, a review of site grading plans and historical building blueprints can help determine if the pollution event was in an area that was slated for removal or part of the pre-existing building.

How Can VERTEX Help?

VERTEX has a team of environmental professionals that have the expertise to investigate the cause, origin, and timing of pollution discoveries associated with redevelopment activities and evaluate whether the event is associated with the historical site use, unknown contamination, or due to construction activities. In addition to our environmental insurance claims management services, VERTEX also has a team of experienced environmental professionals that can assist with due diligence efforts to be performed during the predevelopment process including Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and/or Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.

Do you have a redevelopment/construction claim that is not progressing to closure? VERTEX’s claim management services can also assist in moving remedial projects forwards to regulatory closure in a timely and cost-effective manner.     

To learn more about VERTEX’s Environmental Consulting and Environmental Claims Consulting services or to speak with an Environmental Expert, call 888.298.5162 or submit an inquiry.

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