Site Selection & Due Diligence

Determining Potential Liability for Commercial, Residential, and Industrial Real Estate Development

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Success in land development relies on evaluating the subject property for potential liabilities that could lower anticipated profits, or worse, completely derail a project. We offer a range of services to help develop a project. We are able to meet our clients’ pre-transaction, design, and development needs in a timely and cohesive fashion so that your project is successfully completed.

Our professional staff of surveyors, engineers, geologists, and environmental scientists can help guide your commercial or residential real estate development project through the complex regulatory, design, and permitting process, so you can capitalize on your investment.

Site Selection and Environmental Due Diligence Services for Land Development include:

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ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Developers, lenders, and businesses that purchase or finance commercial property must be aware of potential environmental liabilities associated with a property in order to provide a defense to CERCLA (Superfund) liability. EMS trained professionals provide Phase I ESA assessments to meet regulatory requirements and help you manage environmental risks and meet the All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) defense to CERCLA liability.

ASTM Phase II Environmental Site Assessments

If recognized environmental conditions are found in a Phase I ESA, then a Phase II ESA may be needed to investigate and delineate the nature and extent of any potential or real contamination. Our staff geologists, scientists, engineers, and technicians have current performed numerous investigations on many different property types. This experience translates to successful projects that benefit the end-user.

NEPA Assessments

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. In many cases a NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) may be sufficient depending on the nature of the project, but in some cases a full environmental impact statement (EIS) is needed.

Asbestos and Lead-Based Paint Inspections

Asbestos containing materials (ACM) can become airborne when disturbed during renovation and demolition projects. Inspections are required prior to any construction or demolition activities. Lead based paint can be a concern in older structures that may be repurposed where children may be present

Wetlands & Stream Delineations

Developing properties involving fill or construction involving wetlands or streams requires a Section 404 Permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers and a Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the state regulatory agency. EMS has experienced wetlands scientists who can identify and map wetlands and riparian zones that need to be protected and/or mitigated.

Threatened or Endangered Species Surveys

Projects involving Federal action (including federal permits or federal funding) require evaluation of potential impacts to sensitive habitats and biota in the project area. We have experienced biologists who perform these surveys and interact with appropriate agencies to ensure requirements are followed.

Cultural Resources

Cultural resource surveys are needed to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended) for federally sponsored projects. Any aspect of the project that may or will cause any change in the quality of historic, architectural, archaeological, or cultural property that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places or property listed on a State Register of Historic Places must be addressed in compliance with the Act.

Surveying (ALTA / ACSM, Topographic, Subdivision)

We have two licensed land surveyors on staff and are equipped with state of the art survey-grade GPS and optical surveying equipment to survey your site. As with our other staff, our surveyors have current HAZWOPER certification to work at hazardous waste or Superfund sites.

Land Planning & Site Evaluations

EMS has broad experience and skill sets that integrate the land planning and site evaluation functions in a manner that produce cohesive and creative solutions to our clients development plans. Rather than look at each portion of a project individually, EMS uses a holistic approach that is efficient and results in a better finished product.

Floodplain Studies and No-Rise Certifications

EMS staff are experienced with providing services related to flood studies and flood insurance. EMS has completed many elevation certificates to assist in determining Flood Insurance requirements for structures built in or near the established flood plain. We are also experienced in performing No-Rise Certifications for design in instances where development impacts the flood zone and/or floodway.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Integration

EMS has embraced GIS technology for many years and uses the powerful technology to store, categorize, analyze, and represent data in a spatial format that is easily understood and communicated to interested parties. Let us show you how we can use our experience with this tool to maximize the efficiency of your mapping or data gathering project.