Archive | July, 2015

Phase 1 Environmental Assessments

31 Jul

Often those completing a real estate transaction on a potentially environmentally contaminated property seek to limit liability under federal Superfund statute (CERCLA). A Phase I environmental site assessment is an initial step in determining whether an environmental risk exists. When reviewing a completed Phase I assessment be sure to ascertain whether the document contains the following 10 elements.
1. Result of environmental professional’s inquiry
2. Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants
3. Reviews of historical sources of information
4. Searches for recorded environmental cleanup liens
5. Federal, State, Tribal, and local government record review
6. Visual inspections of the facility and of adjoining properties
7. Prospective landowner’s specialized knowledge or experience
8. Relationship of purchase price to uncontaminated property value
9. Commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information
10. Degree of obviousness and ability to detect property contamination

Each of these ten steps should be completed within one year, according to 40 C.F.R.  §312.21, which sets the standard for Phase I assessments. Upon completion of the Phase I assessment the environmental professional will offer recommendations as to whether further assessments, such as a Phase II environmental assessment, is necessary. A Phase II assessment involves taking samples of the soil, and if applicable, water that exists on the property in order to identify contamination.

If you have any questions regarding phase 1 environmental assessments please contact Thorn & Associates at 773-609-5320, [email protected], or through our web contact form.

Disclaimer: This article cannot, and does not, create any attorney/client or consultant/client relationship.

Illinois Water Systems Notice of Violations

24 Jul

Within the past year Illinois EPA has issued numerous violation notices to water systems for failing to check chlorine residue and fluoride levels daily. When issuing these violations, IEPA cites both 35 IAC 653.605 and 35 IAC 653.704, and their reference to daily monitoring reports, as justifying the requirements for daily sampling and testing of these chemicals. However, such a reading is clearly inconsistent with the language of the regulatory framework as a whole. In regards to Chorine residue sampling, 35 IAC 653.604 (b) clearly states that tests must be performed at “frequent and regular intervals” rather than daily. Additionally, 35 IAC 653.703 states that fluoride test must be conducted on a monthly, rather than daily, schedule.

If you are concerned about the additional and unnecessary costs of these sampling requirements, or if you have any additional questions regarding IEPA enforcement and Notice of Violation (NOV) letters, please contact Thorn & Associates at 773-609-5320, [email protected], or through our web contact form.

Disclaimer: This article cannot, and does not, create any attorney/client or consultant/client relationship.

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