The period starting in 1950 saw a change in the way the world is looked at,this accelerating in the 21st Century as climate change became an important issue. One of the biggest 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 laws and regulations and environmental law gradually developed into a distinct area,one that overlapped that of construction law when carrying out due diligence on land purchases for new residential projects.
In fact more and more environmental issues came to the fore in the 1980’s than ever before,the majority dealing with prior pollution.
At the start people didn’t know quite how to handle this issue,but over time legal practices evolved and were able to include 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 thinking about due diligence is so very important,especially as now,when you are building something,you have to do an environmental review. The purpose of this process for a buyer of land is to obtain as much data as possible. When things are done the right way,it helps to pinpoint 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 parts of the land that you simply can’t develop but you won’t find out until you start digging. 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 need not be the end of the development as it as it then gives builders and lawyers opportunities to be creative. It’s all a part of dealing with the challenges and opposition to a building project.
Plus,now there is the Brownfield Cleanup Program,which provides liability protection,financial assistance and tax credits 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 outset of the purchasing journey,thus protecting the purchaser against liability. Once the risks are determined,clients can decide if a project is feasible and can be financed and completed on budget.
See insurance for contaminated land for more information