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The Importance of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)

The Importance of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)
When it comes to environmental contamination of real estate, the legal principle of “you break it, you buy it” does not apply – in fact, the reality is much worse! Under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) legislation (commonly known as Superfund), as well as state laws like Massachusetts’ C. 21E, legal liability for environmental contamination is “strict.” This means that the property owner is per se responsible for any contamination at that property - period. It does not matter if the owner caused or contributed to the contamination. It does not matter if the contamination