Commercial Property in Marion, Ohio
Due diligence, as set out in the U.S. EPA’s all appropriate inquiries (AAI) rule, relates to the purchase of potentially contaminated real estate. Purchasers of commercial or industrial property must meet the AAI standard to qualify for defenses to liability for the cleanup of existing contamination under CERCLA.
In 2013, ASTM adopted a new Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Standard (ASTM E1527-13), the current method for meeting due diligence requirements. The standard requires purchasers to gather information on current and past uses, the use of hazardous substances, and environmental liens on the property. It also requires the collection of information regarding nearby properties that may have caused contamination on the property. In addition, the environmental professional must consider vapor intrusion from on- and off-site sources; review regulatory agency records regarding nearby properties that may have affected the property; and distinguish between current, controlled and historical recognized environmental conditions.
Cox-Colvin performed an ESA on a commercial property in Marion, Ohio. The property consisted of a three story building that had a long history, as it was nearly 80 years old. Cox-Colvin reviewed historical and current uses; the history and use or disposal of hazardous substances or petroleum; and conducted an inspection of the building. Cox-Colvin also arranged for asbestos containing material (ACM) and lead-based paint surveys of the building. The lead paint survey indicated that lead-based paint was not present in the building; the asbestos survey confirmed the presence of ACM.
Based on the findings of the Phase I, Cox-Colvin recommended that the purchaser conduct a sub-slab vapor investigation because of the potential migration of vapors from off-site sources and that the ACM be properly removed and disposed.