Environmental Due Diligence Boot Camp
Lesson 12:   In The End, It's Still Just An Opinion 



So, just what is it that you are you buying when you hire someone to complete a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment ?


In part, you are buying that person's competence at meeting all of the required elements (Lesson 4), and their skill at pursuing all appropriate avenues of inquiry to accurately determine the activities that took place on the subject property in the past.


But most of all, what you are buying is their opinion as to whether there is significant risk for adverse impact to the environmental quality of the subject property having occurred.


Remember this - that opinion is only as good as: 

  • the diligence with which the consultant found and collected complete and accurate information about the subject property
  • the care and thoroughness used by the consultant in evaluating the acquired information  
  • and, most importantly, the ability of the consultant to recognize conditions, activities, and/or occupancies that represent potential risks to the environmental quality of the subject property (i.e., the consultant's base of knowledge and experience)


It therefore should come as no surprise to anyone that inexpensive and quickly-completed “environmental assessments” that are slapped together by low-paid technicians are going to result in poor-quality opinions...


 ...opinions that reflect the minimal effort that went into preparing the work-product; opinions that might just result in you being held liable for costly environmental investigation and cleanup activities. 




The Bottom Line: 


The end-point to your environmental due diligence is just an opinion, and the value of that opinion is only as good as the quality of the person you hire to complete the environmental assessment.



Copyright © 2011 OMNICON Environmental Management, All Rights Reserved 

POSTED:  19 January 2011