Pre-Purchase Site Inspections for Contamination

At Anderson Environmental we are often asked by our clients to provide advice early on in the development assessment process. Often this commences even before a client decides to purchase a property and it is generally the larger and more experienced property developers who know the value of getting a thorough Due Diligence Pre-Purchase Inspection undertaken. Often we are advising client’s on properties in the millions and have recently advised a client on a 10 million dollar property before they decided to purchase.
So what is the role of a Pre-Purchase Due Diligence Inspection for potential contamination ?
Most often a Due Diligence Pre-Purchase Inspection involves a combination of reviews of existing records from both the site and its surrounds combined with a walk over site inspection. For the assessment of contamination risk in accordance with State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP 55) and to manage potential risks when purchasing a property it is important to consider the history of a site before purchase. Many sites will not have a known history however this does not result in no risk of contamination. As such it it important to utilise experienced professionals to undertake a site visit and background searches as part of a formal Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI). Neighbouring sites also have to be considered as contamination can migrate from neighbouring sites as above ground, through the soil or from groundwater contamination. Generally the assessment area should be an area of 300 metres from the property boundary in all directions. This is due to the potential for contamination to migrate off adjoining sites which have been used for potentially contaminating activities or underground by way of the groundwater table.
Often due to the potential risk from contamination it is important to undertake sampling of the soil or groundwater prior to purchase for high risk sites.
Please give us a call before completing your next purchase for your Due Diligence Contamination Risk Assessment.