While most real estate transactions will have a ‘Full-Disclosure’ clause, there should still be an adherence to the phrase ‘Due Diligence,’ meaning it is your responsibility to understand exactly what you are a buying and, most importantly, that any and all legal requirements regarding the land and any structures are compliant with all laws and regulations.
Most of you have heard the phrase ‘Due Diligence,’ but in a state like California, the phrase ‘Environmental Due Diligence’ (EDD) is extremely important. On a federal level, there is the Environmental Protection Agency, an environmental regulatory commission on a state level and local municipalities. As you’ve probably heard or read in the news, California has some of the most stringent regulations regarding the environment.
California’s Environmental Site Assessment
Not only are there fines and penalties that the buyer might end up being responsible for, any other land owner that can prove your recent land acquisition is breaking environmental laws and negatively affecting the value and safety of their land, can pursue you with a civil suit.
Besides being aware of all of the environmental laws and regulations that can apply to a piece of land you are going to purchase, once you’ve bought the property, if you’re going to rebuild or modify the structures currently there, you will need a good contractor that is knowledgeable and will tell you upfront what needs to be done and how it must be done to be in full compliance with all environmental rules and regulations.
In the state of California you can have an Environmental Site Assessment done and, even though it may cost you, for any commercial property it really should be considered a “Must Have.”
This is a highly detailed assessment that not only includes the more obvious issues such as groundwater contamination, but will also look into any historical classifications which may have an impact on the design of, and permitted use of specific activities of a business.
Contact Our Coachella Valley Environmental Lawyer
You need to understand that nearby land will be a serious consideration especially with regards to groundwater. If, for example, you are within the boundaries of Coachella Valley, you should really consult with our reputable Coachella Valley environmental lawyer, who understands the regulations of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control which is a part of California’s own Environmental Protection Agency.