May 31, 2013

Phase 1 Missed the Mark

Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013

Looking to expand their operations, a company purchased a large piece of property that seemed suitable for redevelopment. Prior to their purchase, the company went through all the proper due diligence including conducting a Phase I site assessment. Although the Phase I did not note any known contamination onsite, the company soon discovered petroleum contamination from an unknown heating oil tank as they began construction. As a result, construction halted as the company had to invest their time and additional money into remediating the contamination.


May 30, 2013

Redevelopment Hits a Snag

Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013

A former mill site was being redeveloped into a condominium complex. The original mill structure was to he preserved while the interior of the building was gutted and renovated. The site was located within a former industrial area and was built on top of historic fill. Additionally, the site was located adjacent to a property involved in the states remediation program. The proposed redevelopment triggered Environmental Regulators to request that another environmental assessment of the property he completed. Through the assessment, additional investigations were completed to evaluate contaminant pathways. Ultimately a sub-slab depressurization system was required to he installed to address elevated concentrations of contaminants detected in the soil vapor and indoor air samples.


April 16, 2013

Latest Environmental Products from XL Environmental

Source: eNews from XL Environmental, April 12, 2013

XL Environmental’s latest eNews highlights their latest environmental products including the following. Click each product to learn more.

February 14, 2013

Industrial Properties and Environmental Risk

Source:, February 1, 2013
By: Jay Grenfell

The general consensus seems to be that 2013 will be a year with increased investment in commercial real estate and a return to normalcy in the commercial real estate markets. Multi-family was a popular product type in 2012 and was very helpful in driving recovery. Multi-family is sure to continue to be a favored property type in 2013, but office and industrial properties are expected to be attractive asset classes as well. However, unlike multi-family and office, industrial properties are more likely to have environmental liabilities that need to be identified and managed appropriately.

Demand for warehouse space is hot in many areas of the West Coast, including in Seattle, Denver, and Los Angeles, as well as in places like Houston and Philadelphia. These locations are particularly attractive due to their strategic location near transportation hubs and terminals. Although there are some positive signs for retail space, continued growth is expected for eCommerce, and the requirement for more distribution facilities in strategic locations has many investors taking note. Modern distribution facilities will be needed to accommodate growing demands for the storage and shipment of goods bought and sold from online market places.

Unlike multi-family, which primarily encounter issues associated with suspect asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint, radon, or perhaps off-site releases, industrial property types are more likely to have significant environmental challenges due to a history of tenant use. These uses can include the use of underground storage tanks (USTs) related to vehicle fleet fueling and the generation of hazardous wastes in association with manufacturing, among others. Managing environmental risk is an important consideration for investors looking at opportunities in industrial property in 2013.…

April 27, 2012

New Day Develops Combined Environmental Casualty and Excess Program

Our broker partner was awarded the business for a large waste management/composting company. The existing program was with an environmental market who added an Odor Exclusion to the environmental policy after complaints were received and an investigation was conducted by the local regulatory agency. At the same time, the Insured installed a state-of-the-art odor monitoring system that identified third-party sources for the odor.

New Day worked with the broker, the incumbent market and several other environmental carriers to develop a combined environmental casualty and excess program. The renewal was placed with another market without the odor exclusion. The successful renewal was achieved after several conference calls between the carrier, the insured’s senior management, the broker and New Day. The Insured saw the value in the new program and, as a result, purchased additional excess limits.…

February 17, 2012

Contaminated soil at Easton Shovel Works

Source:, February 16, 2012
By: Susan Parkou Weinstein

Tank, dirt removal planned

Consultants on the Ames Shovel Works project recently assured selectmen any contaminated soil would be removed from the site by the developer at no cost to the town.

Joseph Shea and Lisa Campe of Woodward & Curran said several contaminated pockets were found after extensive sampling and testing but the discovery was typical for the redevelopment of former industrial and historical sites.

They said they were working with the developer, Beacon Communities, to make sure the town’s interests were protected.

Campe said a fuel storage tank, used to heat the former shovel factory,and some contaminated soil had been previously removed by the current owners, Robert and George Turner.

More recent testing found another fuel tank and pockets of metals from shovel manufacturing, as well as evidence of petroleum under a building known as the steam hammer shop. The petroleum is locked in by a slab that is acting as a protective barrier. The building can be used for any purpose as long as the slab is not breached.

Beacon will also be removing the tank and about 500 cubic yards of soil from the town’s conservation and sewer easements while constructing the condominiums, absorbing all costs and giving the town third party oversight.

The site is part of the town’s protected aquifer zone and traces of residual petroleum indicate “nothing alarming,” Campe said.…

January 11, 2012

Cleanup cost $340,000 at dirty East Bay

Source:, January 10, 2012
By: John Dodge

Plaza project: Total cost almost $5 million; spring opening targeted

Environmental cleanup costs associated with the East Bay Plaza project totaled nearly $340,000, according to LOTT Clean Water Alliance officials.

The 0.74-acre plaza between LOTT’s WET Science Center and the Hands On Children’s Museum on Olympia Avenue is still on schedule to open to the public late this spring, said Eric Hielema, a LOTT senior wastewater engineer.

The total project cost is closing in on $5 million, with the sewer utility contributing about $4 million and the City of Olympia more than $885,000.

The environmental cleanup consisted of excavating contaminated soils, hauling soils to an approved disposal site, placing a geotextile surface over the disturbed areas and backfilling with clean soil.

The original estimate called for removal of about 3,100 cubic yards of soils contaminated with petroleum byproducts and heavy metals. But the volume exceeded 8,000 cubic yards.

The extra dirty dirt – enough to fill 500 dump trucks – was based on expansion of the two, 20-by-20-foot hot spots discovered during the original site investigations. In addition, the state Department of Ecology required excavation to a depth of 6 feet or to contact with groundwater, whichever came first. The original design for the project called for excavation to a depth of 3 feet.

The sewer utility board of directors will be asked to approve a construction change order to cover the environmental cleanup costs when they meet Wednesday night.

The project is quickly taking shape, Hielema noted. A streamlike water feature, which will be fed by reclaimed wastewater from the nearby LOTT treatment plant, is in place. Several of the pathways have been constructed within the open space.

The public plaza will also feature a small wetland, aquatic vegetation, bronze sculptures of wildlife, park benches, a performing arts stage, and interpretive signs and messages inlaid in the pathways describing the role water resources play in the community.

The plaza design by Robert W. Droll & Associates of Lacey is one of 11 pilot projects in a national program for sustainable landscape design.…

May 3, 2011

Essential legal guidelines for managing environmental risk when buying or leasing real estate

Source:, May 1, 2011

Virtually every real property deal carries a risk of environmental liability. Prior to acquiring or leasing a site, the business should consult a competent transactional lawyer to negotiate contractual protections in the contract or lease that minimize the exposure and risk of environmental liability.

These protections may include lengthy due diligence periods, representations and warranties regarding hazardous materials, indemnification provisions, carefully drafted provisions regarding responsibility for clean up, remediation and monitoring, and holdbacks or other security for future performance.

Smart Business sat down with M. Alim Malik and Alene Taber, land use and environmental attorneys with Jackson DeMarco Tidus Peckenpaugh, to obtain an overview of environmental risks that every owner or lessee of real property should evaluate.…

January 27, 2011

IRONSHORE EDU – Site Pollution Incident Legal Liability Select (SPILLS)

Acknowledgement to Ironshore Environmental

Ironshore EDU is a comprehensive environmental insurance policy that assists schools in managing their environmental exposures in an affordable manner, thereby helping to control not only environmental liabilities but also school finances.


  • Mold:  Costly remediation of mold growth; associated bodily injury claims.
  • Contaminated drinking water:  Bodily injury claims related to drinking water, whether the drinking water wascontaminated on or offsite.  Remediation expenses to neutralize any contamination impacting the drinking water.
  • Caulk containing PCBs:  PCBs can be emitted into the air increasing the potential of bodily injury for those exposed. Thecaulk can also settle in soil outside of the school resulting in expensive soil excavation and removal.
  • Legionella:  Bodily injury claims related to drinking water or indoor air impacted by legionella.
  • Carbon monoxide:  Caused by machinery malfunctions, and can lead to serious bodily injury including death.
  • Storage tanks:  Releases of heating oil or fuel from underground or aboveground storage tanks may impact the Insured’s or neighboring properties, thereby necessitating remediation expenses or resulting in claims for bodily injury.
  • Indoor Air Quality:  Many of the above issues affect indoor air quality. Minors/students are often more susceptible to poor indoor air quality, and therefore are at greater risk of injury. Offsite industrial and commercial sites (gas stations, dry cleaners, etc.) can impact indoor air quality at schools due to releases of pollutants at these sites.
  • Defense:  Claims for environmental exposures can be costly, even when the Insured ultimately prevails on the merits.
January 27, 2011

Contractors and Consultants at Risk from Increasing Number of New, Rigorous Environmental Laws That Can Lead to Costly Liabilities

Source:, January 24, 2011

Contractors and consultants are more vulnerable now than ever to environmental liabilities, from job site pollution incidents, to hidden dangers of site selection, which can cost hundreds of thousands in fines and legal fees. In addition, contractors and consultants face a growing array of environmental risks and liabilities due to increasingly strict environmental regulations — according to a white paper and corresponding podcast unveiled today by the ACE Group of insurance and reinsurance companies.

The white paper is titled, “Contractors and Consultants Face Increasingly Strict Environmental Laws,” and is co-authored by Barbara Deas, President, ACE Westchester Environmental, and William P. Hazelton, Senior Vice President, ACE Environmental Risk, and reveals the risk mitigation measures that contractors and consultants should consider. These include: contractual issues, sub-contractor selection, new and changing environmental regulations, waste disposal, and adequate insurance protection. The authors’ commentary is part of ACE Progress Reports SM a collection of white papers, articles, and executive reports on current and emerging risk management issues.…