Environmental contamination has become a problem of serious concern in California and across the nation, due to its dangerous health effects as well as its negative impact on property values. In particular, government agencies that are working to obtain a piece of private property by eminent domain are concerned with soil contamination.
When a property is believed to have soil or another environmental contamination, the agency attempts to deduct contamination cleanup expenses from the property's value, resulting in a property owner being offered an amount that is far less than the property's true worth. When an action of eminent domain involves environmental contamination, it is in a property owner's best interest to consult with an eminent domain attorney in California to learn more about their legal options.
Typically, when a government agency wants to acquire private property via eminent domain, they will have an environmental site assessment (ESA) conducted before they acquire the land, either by condemnation or purchase. The assessment must be conducted by qualified professionals, dependent on the type of contamination found and the type of assessment that is needed. The ESA will help determine whether a property is suitable for a certain project and its projected cost for acquisition, including expenses relating to environmental remediation. It is crucial that the ESA correctly evaluate the extent of environmental contamination, for the results of the assessment may prompt the agency to look elsewhere to acquire land, and if the contamination is overestimated, the owner may accept a lower offer for the property than it is actually worth. Additionally, if it is discovered the contamination was caused by a public works project adjacent to the property, the property owner may have a case for inverse condemnation against the agency that is responsible for the contamination.
If your property is facing eminent domain in California and is believed to have environmental contamination, contact Peterson Law Group. Our Los Angeles environmental contamination attorneys will work diligently with qualified appraisers, consultants, and other qualified professionals to determine the property's true environmental contamination. We will build a strong case on your behalf in order to present an accurate picture of the condition of the property. Call 213-236-9720 to learn how we can help.