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Steps New Property Owners Should Take To Minimize Environmental Liability

April 12, 2012

James K. O’Brien

Federal law and Michigan law require a purchaser of property to investigate whether the property is environmentally contaminated; otherwise, the purchaser runs the risk of becoming legally liable to pay the cost of cleaning up contamination on the property, even though caused by a prior owner. Unlike most states, Michigan allows a new purchaser to insulate himself from this “cleanup” liability by investigating the property’s condition, and reporting any contamination found to the state. The type of environmental investigation that must be undertaken, and the manner in which any contamination must be reported to the state, is covered quite specifically in Michigan law. This video gives a general outline of the steps a new property owner should take to minimize potential environmental liability.