The real estate business abounds with environmental and construction challenges. Whether you’re a real estate investor, developer or owner, your project’s success may depend on how well environmental risk is identified, analyzed and managed from acquisition through construction completion. Purely conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), and possibly a Phase II ESA, does not relieve you of potential environmental liability. To manage compliance and avoid regulatory enforcement, the following considerations should be incorporated into your redevelopment plan.
- Conduct due diligence efforts to understand potential on and off-site environmental liabilities.
- If buildings are present, assess the existence of hazardous building materials for proper management and disposal during redevelopment.
- Determine if redevelopment may impact environmentally sensitive lands (wetlands, protected habitats, etc.)
- Clearly understand current and future regulatory obligations. This should be reviewed at the federal, state, and local level.
- Understand cost and schedule impacts related to environmental liabilities.
- Include a qualified environmental consultant to assist in identifying and addressing regulatory requirements early.
- If contaminated soil is present, create a soil management plan.
- If contaminated groundwater is identified, on or off-site, determine if dewatering is required.
- If soil gas from contaminated soil and groundwater is a concern, determine if a vapor mitigation system is needed.
- Consider how and when the management of contaminated media will be conducted during construction.
- Identify regulatory coordination and permitting needs; as well as associated financial and project schedule impacts.
- Conduct pre-application meetings with permitting agencies.
- Plan for the management of environmental impacts from typical construction activities.
- Have a contingency plan to address unexpected contamination during construction.
- Include environmental permitting, reporting, and coordination into bid specifications.
- Ensure that qualified and licensed contractors are utilized to abate and properly dispose of hazardous materials.
- Conduct a Pre-Construction meeting to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of the Engineer, Contractor, and Environmental Consultant.
- Discuss the management and safety risks associated with the abatement of hazardous materials with staff.
- Ensure that permitting conditions and reporting requirements are being met.
- Continually assess environmental risk and management during construction.
- Update, implement, and document appropriate best management practices.
- Track and document the proper removal, abatement, and disposal of hazardous materials.
- Be prepared for site inspections by regulatory agencies.
- Ensure that permitting reporting requirements are completed.
- Work with the Environmental Consultant to obtain regulatory closure with each agency.
Whether evaluating a single asset or full portfolio, VERTEX’s Environmental and Construction Experts partner with you to resolve complex challenges across the real estate lifecycle.
Kelly Bishop, PG
Southeast Regional Vice President, Environmental