A major acquisition is a landmark event for most organizations. But before you sign on the dotted line and pop the bubbly, it’s important to unearth environmental compliance risks that your transaction might carry. Identifying and reviewing those risks will likely save you time and money in the long run. And when it comes to purchasing a business with potential ongoing environmental obligations, you have to assess the nitty-gritty details — including the owner’s environmental compliance activities. 

So before you move forward with a purchase, uncover hidden risks by answering these questions:  

  1. Does the current business owner possess the appropriate environmental permits for their operations? 
  2. Are those permits transferable to the new owner? 
  3. Are those permits up-to-date with current EPA and state-specific environmental regulations?  
  4. Are all of the permitting and regulatory conditions, including reporting and equipment design requirements, being met?   
  5. Do you know where they are/were depositing waste? 
  6. Has any asbestos, lead, or other hazardous materials on the property been properly stored, treated, and/or disposed of? 
  7. Do they have any outstanding fines or violations? 

It looks like a lot of information to uncover, but environmental consultants can do the detective work for you. After working with a compliance specialist to assess historical land uses and environmental compliance efforts, you’ll understand: 

  • If there are gaps in the current owner’s environmental compliance plan 
  • What existing fines and liabilities, if any, you’ll be responsible for should you purchase the business or property
  • If existing compliance conditions will impact your future business developments
  • What your next environmental due diligence step is

Don’t skip this step and fall victim to buyer’s remorse. If you need assistance with your environmental compliance assessment, contact us today.

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