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Why is a Phase I different in Miami, Florida?

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) for commercial real estate in Miami, Florida may differ in several ways due to the unique environmental and regulatory conditions of the area. Some potential differences may include:

Hurricane risk: Miami is located in a coastal region that is vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms, which could affect the condition of a property and its potential environmental liabilities.

Coastal flooding: Due to rising sea levels, many areas in Miami are prone to coastal flooding, which may impact the environmental risks associated with a property.

Wetland and water resources: Miami is home to numerous wetlands and water bodies, including Biscayne Bay, which could affect the environmental risks of a property due to regulations related to wetland and water resource protection.

Contamination: Miami has a history of industrial and manufacturing activities, which could have contributed to soil and groundwater contamination. A Phase I ESA may need to consider these potential contamination sources in its assessment.

Regulatory framework: Florida has its own set of environmental regulations that may differ from other states, and a Phase I ESA in Miami may need to consider these regulations in its assessment.

What makes Miami different?

  1. Working in Dade County is always the hardest, given Miami’s challenging history and the number of unregulated former dump sites (primarily in the western portion of the county – Hialeah, Medley, and Doral).
  2. Dade County also has its own county-specific Department of Pesticide (DEP) database which must be searched in conjunction with the state database, which makes research much more difficult.
  3. South Florida was home to significant military operations during World War II. There were training centers and bases in Boca Raton, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, etc. Many municipal airports today were military aviation training centers and bases during World War II. Dealing with environmental considerations is often the result of this historical military/industrial use.

Hiring an experienced professional for your commercial real estate due diligence is important.