If you have been hesitant to purchase or loan money on a property that may have some soil or groundwater contamination, there’s a new Kansas law that may ease your concerns regarding environmental liability. Recently, the Contaminated Property Redevelopment Act was signed into law. Based on this law, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) can provide some prospective property purchasers with a Certificate of Environmental Liability Release (CELR). The CELR “releases a prospective purchaser from state liability for a property with known contamination.”
Before you are eligible to receive the CELR, Solid Ground Environmental will first perform a Phase I ESA and a subsequent Phase II ESA to identify soil or groundwater contamination and advise you if the property is eligible under the requirements of the law.
Here’s a bit more detail: the contamination in question cannot be lead-based paint, asbestos, or radiological, the property must be acquired after July 1, 2016, the property cannot be subject to regulations under the Nuclear Energy Development and Radiation Control Act, and the property cannot be eligible for underground storage tank or drycleaning funds.
A couple other items worth noting, the purchaser cannot be part of previous ownership, including family relationships, that has caused the contamination, the purchaser cannot currently own the property, and the purchaser cannot provide indemnification to the current owner.
It is important for banks to know they would not receive the CELR as the lender on the property; however, this may be an option if foreclosure of a property is necessary.