Immunity from Envir...
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Immunity from Environmental Liability


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Good day! This land bank is being asked to act as a pass-through so a local government can acquire property from the Auditor's Sale list. The property is a former industrial site that recently caught fire. I understand that county land banks are supposed to be immune from environmental liabilities, but does any land bank have experience in this matter? I would appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

2 Answers

Good morning, Deb! We have had some experience in navigating through environmental issues related to commercial/industrial sites. I'd be happy to discuss if/when you have time. If you are concerned with avoiding CERCLA liability, please see the attached opinion from 2016 from one of our law firms. It mentions the statutory immunity you are referencing, as well as CERCLA liability. Obviously, this memo to our land bank is no substitution for guidance from your own counsel, but it may give you some general information that will be useful in your discussions.  We have found that our local OEPA and USEPA reps are very pro-land bank and see the benefits of working with them to address problem properties. 

I have also attached a PowerPoint deck from a presentation by our local USEPA rep from a couple of years ago. It has since been cleared up that land banks are treated like local governments for purposes of taking property "involuntarily." 

Let me know if you would like to discuss.


Here is the PowerPoint deck.

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