Whether you are an investor, lender, attorney, or consultant, environmental consulting in Kansas can be made simpler as long as you know how to prepare and ask questions or know what to expect from the Environmental Professional prior to engaging a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA).
We all know the Phase I ESA is a small piece of the pie in the real estate transaction process, so no one likes surprises at the end that may cost more money and/or delay closing. Doing some pre-work, such as a Database Review or a Historical Records and Database Review as a pre-check, may be a cost-effective method to start with, depending on the risk tolerance and bank policy you may be working with.
This easy desktop research could reveal there are no significant environmental issues on paper and can include research of the “Big 4” under AAI, and as the buyer or buyer’s representative, you may be able to work with the EP to customize this type of screening tool to meet your needs.
Many of the EPs in Kansas have extensive knowledge of the area and should be able to look up information in a matter of a couple of hours to provide a glimpse of if the ESA may identify recognized environmental conditions (RECs) or not. RECs can happen, especially in older, more densely developed areas, such as downtown areas of larger cities. Some quick research online or of the Big 4 could identify former manufacturing, metal works, printers, dry cleaners, and gas stations in areas that have been redeveloped.
Back in the early years of my career, the downtown Kansas City area was going through a major redevelopment, referred to as KC Live. This involved the redevelopment of several major blocks for the present-day T-Mobile Arena and Power and Light District. I remember being on the Fire Insurance Map research team for the company I was working for at the time and we used these maps to pinpoint where additional subsurface investigations would be warranted. I also remember assisting a colleague with non-scope items for the asbestos surveys prior to the demolitions and renovations of the various buildings.
Environmental consulting in Kansas comes down to the knowledge of your consultant. As you vet them out, ask them questions in order to gauge their understanding of the area in general, how they would handle the “what ifs,” and ultimately, regulatory requirements and potential fees and timing for anything additional that may arise.