Environmental Due diligence is required as part of acquisitions, mergers and divestitures with the assessment focused on identifying actual or potential environmental liabilities arising from current and historical property usage and determining the costs of addressing these liabilities. The assessment generally includes a wider regulatory assessment to include planning permission compliance, permits and licences as applicable.
In general, an assessment comprises two Phases.
Phase 1 Site Assessments are carried out generally in accordance with recognized standards such as ASTM E 1527-00 and ASTM E 1528-00 which can be amended to country specific regulations. Phase 1 involves developing a site history, establishing background environmental conditions and a site inspection, which includes, where relevant an evaluation of the facility's approach to environmental management and may, depending on the client's needs, include a regulatory compliance evaluation (planning permission history, permit and licensing compliance assessment). Often, the report includes a Planning Development Potential Report which can be used to inform potential purchasers, vendors, developers or financial institutions of the likely value of a particular land or buildings asset in a planning context.
The findings of the Phase I assessment will determine if additional (Phase II) investigations are required. This can include sampling of soils, groundwater and surface waters to establish the nature and extent of any environmental impact associated with the facility. The data is used to identify the need for and extent of any remedial measures and the likely associated costs.