Environmental Risks in Real Estate
Failure to recognize and address risks associated with real estate transactions may result in parties unknowingly assuming substantial liability. The larger challenge is to understand and identify those potential risks before the transaction has been completed.
Environmental risk associated with real property may occur without its purchase. In some cases, liability issues may arise when the property is leased or where there is a purchase option. Read more...
Environmental Regulations Tightened for Federally-Guaranteed Lenders
The United States Small Business Administration has put stringent new environmental standards into effect, adding another layer of complexity for lenders and applicants of SBA-backed loans.
The new operating procedures, designate SBA SOP 50-10(5), identify more than 70 categories of "environmentally sensitive industries" that must adhere to one of four regulatory paths based on such criteria as loan size and current or prior use of the property. Read more...
Funding to Remediate Municipal Property
Municipalities may apply for grants or low-interest loans to investigate and clean up contaminated, underutilized property. Funds for these purposes became available more than a decade ago, and municipalities are actively removing "eye sores" from their communities by conversion into productive or recreational use.
Funds may be provided for preliminary assessments for onsite inspections and to review historical ownership and site use to determine if contamination may be present. Read more...
NJ to Have Licensed Site Professionals
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has signed into law legislation authorizing the state Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to license environmental engineers and others as Licensed Site Professionals. This group would be empowered to develop remedial plans, supervise cleanups and certify work was performed in accordance with NJDEP requirements. NJDEP anticipates creation of an interim program will be up and operating within three months of the bill's signing.
The law was modeled after a highly successful similar program initiated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in operation for more than 15 years. Read more...