Failure to disclose the presence or prospective production of hazardous waste will almost invariably lead to a complete shutdown of any project or activity along with the levying of severe fines. For these reasons it is important that your project’s hazardous materials report address any existing or potential contamination liability.
The short definition of hazardous waste is any waste material that represents potential harm to human health and/or a danger to the environment. What does or does not fall within the definition encompasses a huge range of materials. For example, hazardous materials/waste can be created by ordinary commercial activity such as industrial by-products, waste water, radioactive materials, solvents, petroleum waste or by specific activities such a applying certain pesticides, painting a building or disposing of used needles and bandages from a hospital.
The environmental site assessment (ESA) report prepared for your project is designed to identify hazardous materials affecting both the underlying real estate and any physical improvements thereon. The ESA is generally written without reference to actual sampling of groundwater, air, soil, etc., and is considered the first step in what amounts to environmental due diligence.
California has its own hazardous waste standards which are more exacting than comparable federal laws. If a given project involves hazardous materials/waste there are strict requirements regarding what materials are considered to be hazardous and how any hazardous waste must be stored, treated, transported and disposed of.
We strongly urge you to consider obtaining a phase 1 environmental assessment as soon as possible and determine how hazardous materials may impact your project’s approval process. Give us a call. We have the experience, knowledge and contacts to investigate the situation and provide expert guidance.