Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is more commonly known as Superfund. CERCLA was enacted in 1980 to protect the public from releases or the threat of release of hazardous substances, and to create a fund to remediate these sites, often referred to as Superfund sites. A later amendment to the law created the standard for All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI), which outlines the process of environmental due diligence that provides certain protections from liability under CERCLA. AAI is most often achieved through the process of conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for the property. Lenders often require a Phase I ESA to be conducted and reviewed during the property transaction period to ensure the property meets the bank’s risk standards and provides them protection from CERCLA liability.

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