Environmental liabilities generally take place over long periods of time. A perfect example of this are loading docks. Some of the contaminants that come off trucks using loading docks are lead; cadmium; asbestos; anti-freeze; petroleum products; hydraulic fluids; release of fluids from loading dock levelers; loading & unloading of cargo…. Loading docks that are not maintained like in the picture above allow these contaminates to seep into the ground and spread via ground water, vapor intrusion or storm water runoff and can create environmental liabilities for the property owners.
Companies with loading docks need to have a loading dock management program that maintains the integrity of the dock while capturing contaminants so over time they do not create an environmental liability.
Real estate owners that lease out facilities with loading docks should include in their lease the tenant is responsible for maintaining the integrity of loading docks including an overview of what is expected in maintaining the integrity. Tenants should also be responsible to provide timely notification of environmental concerns related not only to the loading docks but the leased premises to the real estate owners.
environmental Strategist™ (eS) go one step further and feel the tenant should at a minimum, annually send to the property owner a signed document they have maintained the leased premises free of environmental liabilities. The reason you do this is because as the property owner you are ultimately responsible for the environmental condition of your property regardless of who caused the environmental liability. With the tenant environmental sign off report you are at a minimum building your defense should the tenant cause an environmental liability and you get dragged in as the real estate owner.