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M&A Due Diligence: Environmental Concerns

Environmental concerns are an increasingly important part of due diligence in many M&A deals. A consulting firm or other business service company probably doesn’t have an environmental issue. Important environmental due diligence info may include the following:

  • Copies of any environmental reviews or inspection reports relating to any of the company’s owned or leased properties

  • Copies of any notices, complaints, suits, or similar documents sent to, received by, or served upon the company by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or other local or state regulatory body

  • Copies of outside reports concerning compliance with waste disposal regulations (hazardous or otherwise)

  • Listing of hazardous substances, including (but not limited to) asbestos, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), petroleum products, herbicides, pesticides, or radioactive materials used in the company’s operations

  • Listing of permits, licenses, and agreements of the company relating to air or water use or quality, solid or liquid wastes, hazardous waste storage or disposal or other environmental matters.

  • Listing and description of any environmental lawsuits or investigations

  • Copies of the workplace safety and health programs currently in place, with particular emphasis on chemical handling practices

A Seller concerned about possible environmental issues should hire a qualified environmental firm to conduct appropriate tests on the real estate or facility in question before beginning the process of selling the business.

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