Jose Almanzar Presenting Webinar on Business Environmental Risks (BERs) and Related Environmental Due Diligence Issues
Beveridge & Diamond Associate Jose Almanzar (New York) provided an overview of the environmental due diligence process as part of real estate transactions and explore Business Environmental Risks (BERs) that arise during due diligence, during a Lawline course, which livestreamed on Thursday, April 23.
This course provided an overview of the environmental due diligence process as part of real estate transactions and explored Business Environmental Risks (BERs) that arise during due diligence. Specifically, the course identified the most common BERs encountered in real estate transactions, along with technical and legal approaches to handling BERs.
The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) standard practice guidance defines BERs as “a risk which can have a material environmental or environmentally-driven impact on the business associated with the current or planned use of a parcel of commercial real estate.” Attorneys and investors involved in the purchase and sale of commercial property are familiar with the basic requirements of Phase I ESAs. When it comes to Phase I ESAs, sophisticated clients and counsel want to know one thing: what are the Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs)? While it's important to know the RECs, particularly because they tell you if you potentially have a significant environmental issue on your property, not enough attention gets paid to BERs, which if ignored can completely derail an otherwise good investment.
In this program, Jose and Frank Cherena, P.G., Principal Geologist with Roux Environmental Engineering and Geology, D.P.C., answered these questions:
- What are BERs and are they significant?
- What are the most common and troublesome BERs?
- What to do when a BER becomes a REC?
The course also explored potential liability issues concerning BERs and the appropriate legal requirements when addressing certain BERs.