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SBA Crash Course: The Environmental Questionnaire

The SBA uses an Environmental Questionnaire as the first step in screening for environmental risk, and many lenders have also adopted this approach.

The SBA’s environmental policy, which has been adopted by many lenders as a sound risk management approach, allows smaller loans on less risky properties to get by without doing comprehensive environmental due diligence—at least at first.

If the loan amount is under $150,000 and the property type is not listed on SBA’s list of environmentally sensitive operations (such as industrial use, gas stations or auto shops), then the environmental due diligence can start with just an Environmental Questionnaire.

(Side Note: The SBA Environmental Questionnaire is also required for all loans on low risk properties, regardless of the loan amount, as the questionnaire will be included in the desktop environmental report required for this category—the Records Search with Risk Assessment or “RSRA.” Refer to my previous blog about what the RSRA includes, and click for a flowchart of the steps in SBA’s environmental policy.)

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