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Brownfield Sites Require Additional Due Diligence
Brownfields and greenfields must both be assessed thoroughly for environmental risk, but brownfields require some extra due diligence.
How does assessing a brownfield site differ from assessing a greenfield site?
John K. Borchardt
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Whether a property is considered a brownfield or a greenfield site, the environmental site assessment is conducted in accordance with generally accepted consulting engineering practices and standards, such as prescribed by the ASTM. Depending on the property type, construction date, and current or past use identified in the initial phase of the assessment, sampling of potentially contaminated areas, as well as regulated or hazardous materials, are frequently conducted in conjunction with a brownfield site assessment. These sampling events are useful for new owners to evaluate the cost of remedying the contamination as well as maintaining the property over the term of ownership. When considering a brownfield property, a buyer should also consider having his or her environmental consultant include tasks considered “out of scope” in the ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process Standard, such as asbestos and lead paint testing, drinking water testing and analysis for contaminants, and an assessment of other regulated or potentially hazardous materials in building components.
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