To many prospective purchasers and lessees of real property, and to many lenders involved in such transactions, environmental due diligence can seem pro forma; it is simply the box you check in order to achieve the inevitable completion of the transaction. Those thoughts are according to Matthew Dombroski, an environmental litigation attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, located in the New York office, and Michael C. Polentz, co-chair of the real estate and land use practice group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, located in the Palo Alto office. According to the two, environmental impairment can rear its ugly head in multiple, extremely costly ways, however, so those prospective purchasers and lessees, and their lenders (as well as their respective environmental counsel), must ensure that environmental due diligence is performed carefully and without shortcuts. In particular, they say, these parties should cause any environmental due diligence to be performed so as to satisfy the “All Appropriate Inquiry” or “AAI” requirements for limited safe harbor, including the often-overlooked “freshness” requirements of the AAI standard, which will in turn provide the prospective purchaser, lessee, and lender a robust environmental characterization of the property for valuation and risk mitigation purposes.

The views expressed in the commentary below are Dombroski and Polentz’ own.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel,, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including and Museums New York magazine.

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