By Dr. Lorne G. Everett

 

While contractors and real estate professionals are generally familiar with terms such as “Phase I” or “Phase II” when performing environmental due diligence in a real estate transaction, there is a new risk that everyone involved in real estate contracting needs to know about – Vapor Intrusion. 

 

As a result of new ASTM standards published earlier this year, real estate transactions for the first time will include an assessment of Vapor Intrusion into the structure.  Although not a strict legal requirement most if not all transactions will follow the ASTM standards to reduce the liability to lenders, attorneys, consultants, developers, investors, owners, and insurers. 

 

Human health impacts from Vapor Intrusion are associated with huge long term financial liabilities.  Property values can be significantly reduced if the property has a Vapor Intrusion problem or is located in an area of a vapor plume.  Purchasing a property in a vapor impacted area may be very risky since the historical impacts may be significant and may not be apparent.

 

All properties within 1/3 mile of a chlorinated hydrocarbon site such as a dry cleaner, metals shop, chemical facility, paint shop, etc. and all properties within 1/10 mile of a petroleum hydrocarbon site such as a gas station will require a Vapor Intrusion evaluation and potential investigation. 

 

Dr. Lorne G. Everett, chief scientist and senior VP at Haley & Aldrich, will discuss how to comply with these new standards and more importantly will provide suggestions on how best to protect the value of these properties during a BVR Legal (formerly Mealey Conferences) program entitled: Comprehensive Construction Defect Claims & Coverage.