Most commercial properties have at least some environmental risks. Beyond that statement it is a property by property situation.

The most common problems come from past or present industrial uses or other hazardous uses like gas stations or dry cleaning plants.

When you are buying it is advisable to at least consider a Phase 1 environmental report – usually $3,500 and 20 days.

The Phase 1 is a comprehensive look at the risk factors affecting a property – current and past uses, reports on underground tanks, underground hydrology (which way is the water flowing?) and other factors. The report, if done by a reputable consultant will give the client an overview of environmental risks and recommend if any additional investigative work is recommended.

Additional work can include drilling bore holes to sample soil and ground water.

If contamination is found much data is then required to determine the appropriate course of action. Actions range from do nothing to contain to remediate/ remove.