Preacquisition Environmental Site Assessments: Avoiding Common Errors and Omissions

by James D. Gustin, Law Environmental Inc, United States,
Larry A. Neal, Law Environmental Inc, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


The 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) established an 'innocent-purchaser' defense to environmental liability from ownership of contaminated property. As a result, engineering firms now provide environmental site assessments (audits) and soil and ground-water contamination assessments to buyers, sellers and lenders. The potential for committing errors and omissions while providing these services is very real. These errors and omissions are associated with contracts, including proposals and conflict-of-interest situations; project execution and reporting. Techniques to avoid or minimize errors and omissions involve the use of experienced environmental professionals, clear client communications, development and execution of consistent and adequate scope and careful senior-level review of reports.

Subject Headings: Environmental issues | Site investigation | Soil pollution | Professional development | Groundwater pollution | Soil water | Contracts | Waste sites

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