The EPA has recently published the final “All Appropriate Inquiry” rules, with an effective date of November 1, 2006. The citation is here: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WASTE/2005/November/Day-01/f21455.htm. This provision will have a profound impact on environmental practices and real estate work. Here is a quote from the rule’s preamble:
“Prospective landowners who do not conduct all appropriate inquiries prior to or on the date of obtaining ownership of the property may lose their ability to claim protection from CERCLA liability as an innocent landowner, bona fide prospective purchaser, or contiguous property owner.”
Does this mean that properties adjacent to known contamination can no longer be purchased without inviting superfund liability?