Unit 3 Enviromental issues in real estate

Question Answer
Asbestos is a fire-resistant mineral that was once used extensively as insulation and to strengthen other materials. Asbestos was found in most construction, including residential, until 1978, when its use was banned.
Brownfields are defunct, derelict, or abandoned commercial or industrial sites, many of which are suspected to contain toxic wastes often contributing to the decline of urban property values.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs as a by-product of burning fuels such as wood, oil, and natural gas, owing to incomplete combustion.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are nontoxic, nonflammable chemicals used as refrigerants in air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers. CFCs are also used in aerosol sprays, paints, solvents, and foam-blowing applications
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Created in 1980, CERLA, established a fund of $9 billion, called the Superfund, to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites and to respond to spills
What generates electromagnetic fields (EMFs)? The movement of electrical currents by any electrical appliance, such as digital clocks, blow dryers, televisions, and computers, generates electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
Encapsulation Sealing off of disintegrating asbestos, is an alternate method of asbestos control that may be preferable to removal in certain circumstances. However, an owner must monitor the condition of the encapsulated asbestos to make sure it is not disintegrating
Environmental impact statement (EIS) detail the impact the project will have on the environment. They can include information about air quality, noise, public health and safety, energy consumption, population density, wildlife, vegetation, and the need for sewer and water facilities.
Environmental site assessment (ESA) s often performed on a property to show that due care was exercised in determining whether any environmental impairments exist.
Formaldehyde A colorless chemical with a strong, pronounced odor, is used widely in the manufacture of building materials and many household products because of its preservative characteristics
Groundwater water that exists under the earth's surface within the tiny spaces or crevices in geological formations, forms the water table, the natural level at which the ground is saturated.
Lead was used as a pigment and drying agent in alkyd oil-based paint. Although lead-based paint may be found on any interior or exterior surface, it is particularly common on doors, window frames, and other woodwork.
Mold can be found almost anywhere and can grow on almost any organic substance, so long as moisture, oxygen, and an organic food source are present. Moisture feeds mold growth.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) consist of more than 200 organic chemical compounds that are not found naturally in nature. These flame-resistant chemicals were often used in electrical equipment.
Radon Is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas produced by the decay of other radioactive substances. Radon is found in every state and territory with radon levels in the outdoor air averaging 0.4 pCi/L.
Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act provides funds to assess and clean up brownfields, clarifies liability protections, and provides tax incentives toward enhancing state and tribal response programs.
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) reauthorized CERCLA, increased the Superfund to $8.5 billion, provided funds for studying the use of new technologies, and required the EPA to assess the risk to human environmental health at every site on the Superfund's list
Underground storage tanks (USTs) Underground storage tanks (USTs) are commonly found on sites where petroleum products are used or where gas stations and auto repair shops are or were located
Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) once popular, then banned, and now legal again, is rarely used. When incorrectly mixed, UFFI never properly cures, resulting in strong emissions shortly after installation.
Water table the natural level at which the ground is saturated. The water table may be several hundred feet underground or near the surface
Arsenic is a natural element found in water, soil, air, and has been linked to several types of cancer.
In Pennsylvania?The Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA) provides for the rehabilitation or recycling of brownfields. The UECA requires an environmental covenant that indicates the cleanup or containment of hazardous materials (to levels of safe usage) and perhaps restrict land use
Chromated copper arsenate CCA used in pressurized wood to prevent insect infestation and dry rot where boards made contact with the earth. CCA could leach into the soil and were released when the boards were cut or sanded.
Communities located near smelters or glass factories or farms that used arsenic pesticides may exposed to arsenic.
The federal government estimates that lead is present in about ______ % of all the private housing built before 1978 or in as many as 57 million homes, ranging from low-income apartments to million-dollar mansions 75
Children younger than ______ are the most vulnerable to damage from excessive lead levels. 6
What can elevated of lead cause? Learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, and poor hearing; the effects are generally irreversible. In adults can induce anemia and hypertension, trigger gallbladder problems, and cause reproductive problems in both men and women.
Does federal law require testing for the presence of lead based pain? The federal law does not require that anyone test for the presence of lead-based paint.
In 1996, the EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued final regulations, , requiring __________ of the presence of any known lead-based paint hazards to potential buyers or renters. Disclosure. Done under statutory authority provided by the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 1.Landlords must disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards before leases take effect. Leases must include a disclosure form regarding lead-based paint.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 2. Sellers have to disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards prior to an execution of a contract for sale. Sales contracts must include a completed disclosure form about lead-based paint.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 2 continued. Licensees should use EPA-written disclosure forms rather than creating their own forms.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 3.Buyers have up to 10 days to conduct a risk assessment or an inspection for the presence of lead-based paint hazards.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 4.Licensees provide buyers and lessees with Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home, the pamphlet created by the EPA, HUD, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 5.Renovators must give homeowners the Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home pamphlet before starting any renovation work.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 6.Anyone who is paid to perform work that disturbs paint in housing and child-occupied facilities must be trained and certified in the EPA's new lead-based work practices
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 6.The Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RR&P) program involves prerenovation education. This education includes distribution of the Renovate Right pamphlet to the property owners before work commences.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 7.Licensees must ensure that all parties comply with the law.
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LBPHRA) of 1992 requires the following 8.Sellers, lessors, and renovators are required to disclose any prior test results or any knowledge of lead-based paint hazards.
A home can be inspected for lead hazards in the following ways: Paint inspection and risk assessment
Paint inspection A paint inspection will provide the lead content of every different type of painted surface in a home. This inspection will not indicate whether the paint is a hazard or how the homeowner should deal with it.
Risk assessment A risk assessment notes the presence of any sources of serious lead exposure, such as peeling paint or lead dust. It also describes what actions can be taken to address the hazards.
Radon continued Fans and thermal "stack effects" (i.e., rising hot air draws cooler air in from the ground through cracks in the basement and foundation walls) pulls radon into buildings.
Radon has been classified as a "Class _____" known human carcinogen. Furthermore, smokers have a risk factor 15 times greater than nonsmokers. A. The potential for developing lung cancer from exposure to radon is a function of the extent and the length of a person's exposure to radon.
Radon is measured in _________ contained in a liter of air Picocuries which is a unit of radiation.
How is radon pulled into buildings? Fans and thermal "stack effects" (i.e., rising hot air draws cooler air in from the ground through cracks in the basement and foundation walls) pulls radon into buildings.
What is teh action level established by the EPA for radon? 4 pCi/L: This level was chosen because 95% of the time, current technology can bring the level below 4, and 75% of the time, levels can be reduced to 2 pCi/L.
What is radon mitigation? Mitigation consists of removing the radon before it seeps into the house. A fan is installed in a pipe running from the basement to the attic to draw the radon up and out. Cheaper when the system is installed during construction
What are passive devices that test for radon? Alpha track detectors and a charcoal canister. Test results are normally received within 10 days or so when using a passive device (immediately when using an electric continuous monitor)
What time period is most accurate when testing for radon? 90 days. the EPA developed a 48-hour procedure that can be used in a real estate transaction. The 48-hour test can satisfactorily predict whether a home's annual average is at or above 4 pCi/L in 94% of cases.
Before looking at properties, licensees should discuss ________ concerns with their buyers, because one out of every 15 homes probably needs mitigation Radon
Licensees can direct buyers to www.epa.gov/radon/ for the pamphlet A Citizen's Guide to Radon and for additional information about testing and mitigation methods.
Often emitted as a gas, ____________ is one of the most common and problematic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is one of the few indoor air pollutants that can be measured Formaldehyde
__________ was listed as a hazardous air pollutant in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen (i.e., causing cancer in animals and probably in humans).
It is a major contributor to _________ _____________ ________, discussed in Unit 17, in commercial properties. Sick building syndrome (SBS)
Where is the largest source of formaldehyde come from in any building? The largest source of formaldehyde in any building is likely to be the off-gassing from pressed-wood products made from using adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins
What is considered pressed wood? Pressed-wood products include particleboard, hardwood plywood paneling, and medium-density fiberboard. Formaldehyde is also used in carpeting and ceiling tiles
Since ________, HUD has regulated the use of plywood and particleboard so that they conform to specified formaldehyde-emission levels in the construction of prefabricated homes and manufactured housing (mobile homes). 1985
Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) continued Studies have shown that formaldehyde emissions generally decrease over time, so homes where UFFI was installed many years ago are unlikely to have high levels of formaldehyde now unless the insulation is exposed to extreme heat or moisture
Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) continued Licensees should check their state's property disclosure form to see if UFFI must be disclosed. Appraisers should also be aware of the presence of formaldehyde. In PA Section 35.335a of the Seller Property Disclosure Statement asks whether the sellers are
The _________ produced by high-voltage lines, as well as by secondary distribution lines and transformers, have been suspected of causing cancer, hormonal changes, and behavioral abnormalities EMF's (Electromagnetic fields). There is considerable controversy (and much conflicting evidence) about whether EMFs pose a health hazard. Buyers may be unwilling to purchase property near power lines or transformers. Licensees are cautioned to remain neu
The EPA has classified ____________ as reasonably carcinogenic, and they have been implicated in lower fertility and shortened life spans. PCB's (Polychlorinated biphenyls)
Commercial distribution of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) was banned in ________ 1979. Even though, PCBs remain in the environment because burning them at more than 2,400 degrees in a closed environment is the only known way to destroy them.
PCBs are most likely a concern for commercial and industrial property managers…. These managers should ask the local utility company to identify and remove any type of transformer that might be a source of PCBs. If the PCBs leak into the environment, penalties and removal methods are expensive.
Although CFCs are safe in most applications and are inert in the lower atmosphere, once CFC vapors rise to the upper atmosphere, where they may survive from 2 to 150 years, they are broken down by ultraviolet light into chemicals that deplete the ____ __ Ozone layer
Older appliances may leak _____________ and should be properly disposed of to prevent further leakage. Licensees may wish to advise their buyers to consider upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient and environmentally safe appliances CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons)
Only ___________-certified technicians should do any work on a refrigeration system, especially the larger systems found in commercial and industrial buildings. EPA. Approved equipment should carry a label reading "This equipment has been certified by ARI/UL to meet EPA's minimum requirements for recycling and recovery equipment."
Water table the natural level at which the ground is saturated. The water table may be several hundred feet underground or near the surface
Fracking is the common term used for hydraulic fracturing used to economically extract vast amounts of shale gas trapped in shale, a fine-grained sedimentary rock formed thousands of years ago by mud, silt, clay, and organic matter.
What is shale? a fine-grained sedimentary rock formed thousands of years ago by mud, silt, clay, and organic matter.
Fracking the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.
The Marcellus Shale, centrally located under much of Pennsylvania, is one of the largest natural gas fields in the United States With the use of horizontal drilling, vast amounts of water containing additives that make the fracturing process more effective are pumped thousands of feet below ground to deliver oil and gas to the surface.
Controversy surrounding fracking Today, fracking is one of the most controversial environmental issues, especially in Pennsylvania. Some private property owners have benefited from leasing their land while others maintain that their well water has been irreparably contaminated.
Land fill is an enormous hole, either excavated for the purpose of waste disposal or left over from surface mining operations. The hole is lined with clay or a synthetic liner to prevent leakage of waste material into the water supply.
Capping is the process of laying two to four feet of soil over the top of the site and then planting grass on it to enhance the landfill's aesthetic value and prevent erosion
_____________ _______________ have been used as parks and golf courses Rapid suburban growth has resulted in many housing developments and office campuses being built on landfill sites. Most newer landfill sites are well documented, but the locations of many older landfill sites are no longer known.
Special hazardous waste disposal sites contain radioactive waste from nuclear power plants, toxic chemicals, and waste materials produced by medical, scientific, and industrial processes.
_______________and _____________ waste disposal sites are subject to strict state and federal regulation to prevent the escape of toxic substances. Hazardous; radioactive
Why is the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act immportant for property owners? it shields innocent developers from liability for toxic waste that existed at a site prior to the purchase of property. In effect, a property owner who neither caused nor contributed to the contamination is not liable for the cleanup.
Significantly, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act encourages the development of abandoned properties, some of which are located in prime ________ real estate areas. Urban
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for implementing the _______, which includes setting up a Pennsylvania Environmental Covenant Registry that lists all properties with attached covenants. Uniform environmental covenant act (UECA)
Pennsylvania Environmental Covenant Registry lists all properties with attached covenants under the Uniform environmental covenant act
The _____________ provides for the rehabilitation or recycling of brownfields, which are contaminated properties that have long sat idle because of significant pollution associated with their prior industrial use Uniform environmental covenant act (UECA)
The _______________ is intended to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's water supply Federal clean water act (CWA)
The _____________, created in 1970, works with other federal agencies to oversee and implement many of the laws passed to protect and improve the environment EPA. Most federal laws encourage state and local governments to enact their own legislation.
What act created a process for identifying potential responsible parties and ordering them to take responsibility for the cleanup action? Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
CERCLA is administered and enforced by the _______ Epa
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) also required more citizen and state involvement in each phase of Superfund programs, and authorized the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, as well as required the EPA to revise the Hazard Ranking System (HRS
innocent landowner immunity clause established the criteria by which to judge whether a person or business could be exempted from liability.
Criteria under innocent landowner immunity clause The pollution was caused by a third party. The property was acquired after the fact. The landowner had no actual or constructive knowledge of the damage. Reasonable precautions were taken in the exercise of ownership rights
Criteria under innocent landowner immunity clause continued Due care was exercised when the property was purchased (the landowner made a reasonable search, called an environmental or Phase I site assessment) to determine that no damage to the property existed
Many buyers of commercial and industrial properties hire an environmental engineer to conduct detailed studies prior to closing. In other words, the parties should do everything possible to avoid surprises.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed to protect public health by regulating the nation's public drinking water supply.
The __________ authorizes the EPA to set national health-based standards for drinking water Safe drinking water act. Wells that serve fewer than 25 individuals are exempt from SDWA regulations
The _________ intends to regulate pollutants discharged into waterways. Clean water act (CWA). The law governs the discharge of oil and hazardous substances into the ground
The Rivers and Harbors Act still requires permits for building a wharf, pier, or other structure in any water outside established harbor lines
The Coastal Zone Management Act addresses coastal environmental problems
PA sewage facilities act requires that Pennsylvania municipalities develop comprehensive plans to resolve existing sewage disposal problems and to prevent future problems
PA sewage facilities act Section 7 requires notice to prospective buyers that if a property is not serviced by a public sewage system and no community sewage system is available, a permit for an individual system must be obtained
The federal Clean Air Act defines the responsibilities of the EPA to protect human health and safety by regulating air emissions from stationary and mobile sources
environmental site assessment (ESA) is often performed on a property to show that due care was exercised in determining whether any environmental impairments exist. There are no federal regulations that define what an environmental assessment must include

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