The passing of contaminated sites from one generation to another, or to one or more business partners, heirs, beneficiaries, or charities, is known as “toxic succession.” In many instances, a property passed on with environmental liabilities often results in greater costs to the inheritor than the property’s value. That cost could vary from tens of thousands of dollars to millions and typically people have no concept of the potential environmental issues associated with their property.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), enables the EPA to take legal action to force parties responsible for causing the contamination to cleanup sites or reimburse the Superfund for the cleanup costs. This liability is “joint and several,” meaning that the government can require the present owner to pay 100% of the cleanup costs even if the current owner had no fault in causing the contamination.
That is why it is very important to take a few precautionary steps when gifting or bequeathing property if contamination is a possibility. As a first step, it is important to test potentially contaminated environmental media at the property. Athenica can provide a comprehensive plan to test at risk materials (i.e. soil, groundwater, soil vapor, and indoor air) for contamination. Testing can determine whether a significant amount of contaminants exist to trigger an environmental cleanup. If so, one can assess the property’s contamination levels and the potential cost of remediation.
For over 30 years Athenica’s experienced engineers, geologists and environmental scientists have been providing due diligence to a large number of lawyers, accountants, and financial planners in order to protect their clients’ assets.
Please contact our HazMat department for any inquiries.
We are proud to announce that Athenica just recently received its New York City WBE certification!
The Athenica team is also pleased to welcome Sahara James, Environmental Scientist in the Lead Department and Stephen Gruber, Assistant Project Manager in the I.H. Department. Please click on their picture for more details on their job responsibilities.