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Beyond Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs): A Look At Business Environmental Risks (BERs) and Related Environmental Due Diligence Issues

(254 reviews)

Produced on April 23, 2020

$ 89 Real Estate, Environmental, Business, Corporate, & Securities, and Oil, Gas, & Energy In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 30m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of the environmental due diligence process as part of real estate transactions and explore Business Environmental Risks (BERs) that arise during due diligence. Specifically, the course will identify the most common BERs encountered in real estate transactions, along with technical and legal approaches to handling BERs.

The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) standard practice guidance defines BERs as “a risk which can have a material environmental or environmentally-driven impact on the business associated with the current or planned use of a parcel of commercial real estate.” Attorneys and investors involved in the purchase and sale of commercial property are familiar with the basic requirements of Phase I ESAs. When it comes to Phase I ESAs, sophisticated clients and counsel want to know one thing: what are the Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs)? While it's important to know the RECs, particularly because they tell you if you potentially have a significant environmental issue on your property, not enough attention gets paid to BERs, which if ignored can completely derail an otherwise good investment.

In this program, Frank Cherena, P.G., Principal Geologist with Roux Environmental Engineering and Geology, D.P.C., and environmental attorney Jose Almanzar of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.,  will answer these questions: 1. What are BERs and are they significant? 2. What are the most common and troublesome BERs? 3. What to do when a BER becomes a REC?

The course will also explore potential liability issues concerning BERs and the appropriate legal requirements when addressing certain BERs.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the environmental due diligence process as part of real estate transactions, including legal requirements for Phase I ESAs and subsurface investigation
  2. Explore technical and practical issues that arise whenever Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) and Business Environmental Risks (BERs) are identified during the Phase I ESA
  3. Discuss the most common BERs that arise during the Phase I ESA process, and identify how attorneys and real estate investors/developers should handle BERs 

Credit Information

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Jose Almanzar

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.

Jose Almanzar is an associate attorney with Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., a boutique environmental law firm headquartered in Washington D.C. with offices in Manhattan. His practice includes prosecuting and defending cost recovery actions under State and federal Superfund laws, environmental regulatory matters, environmental litigation, and environmental due diligence as part of real estate and business transactions. He is the current co-chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the New York State Bar Association’s Environmental & Energy Law Section. Prior to attending law school, Jose worked as an environmental field scientist for a national environmental consulting company, where he conducted property investigations and prepared environmental reports.

Frank Cherena

Roux Associates

Mr. Cherena is a registered Professional Geologist in New York and Licensed Environmental Professional (LEP) in Connecticut specializing in environmental assessment, remediation, and brownfield redevelopment support, and is currently a Principal Geologist at Roux Environmental Engineering and Geology, D.P.C. Mr. Cherena has conducted, managed, or overseen Phase I and Phase II investigations and remediations at many sites located throughout the country, and specializes in developing innovative cost-saving solutions that focus on integrating remedies into redevelopment scenarios. Additional experience includes negotiation and coordination with lenders, tenants, and community stakeholders to secure funding and approvals. Mr. Cherena has a focus in due diligence and acquisitions and has experience in supporting single asset to equity-level transactions.


James H.

Informative and useful program.

Nathan C.

Very useful concrete examples of issues that arise in the course of environmental due diligence.

Kimberly H.

Very knowledgeable

Marcia B.

Excellent program.

Carolyn G.

One of the best CLE programs I’ve seen this cycle. Excellent advice.

William K.

Very detailed and nuanced presentation

Catherine H.

great presentation, really liked both presenters, clearly knowledgeable and experienced on the subject, thanks again

Jerome N.

Great combo of science and law!

Harry B.

Great job

A. Fredric C.

Both faculty were excellent with a tough topic to explain!

Steven K.

Very nice presentation. Good visuals on the wetlands maps! Thanks!!!!

Ahban S.

This was a very informative course.

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