Planning a New Home? Why You May Need an Environmental Assessment Before Building

Written by  //  March 24, 2017  //  Lot Selection  //  No comments

Planning to build a new home doesn’t always require an environmental assessment to be performed. About fifty thousand environmental assessments are performed each year to ensure that the land won’t have a significant effect on the quality of the human living environment. Some may find that they need more detailed assessments as a result of the primary environmental assessment.

Why is an environmental assessment necessary

People may not feel they need an environmental assessment while they plan on building a new home, but then how would they know where they are building is safe? You would want to make sure that the water in the area, whether it be city or well water is safe and drinkable for you, your family, and anyone else that may be living with you.

There may be other unsafe factors in the area you are looking to build such as air and other waste pollution. All of these factors can contribute a great deal on how you build your house in a particular area. It may even mean looking for another area entirely.

While people may not need to complete an environmental assessment, it may be a good idea if they want to avoid paying out of pocket for damages to the land that were not within their control. People can apply for environmental liability protection which may help with the cost of cleaning up the environment.

Perhaps more importantly than the additional expense, living in harsh environmental conditions could bring about a plethora of health conditions. People may want to reconsider building on (or even owning) the land as a result of completing an assessment.

What goes into an environmental assessment

An environmental assessment is identified as a brief (but thorough) process which is centered around researching and speculating on previous uses for the land. Inspectors will walk across the property to see if there are any clear signs that the land is contaminated. Those completing an assessment must explain why the proposed project is necessary, and the land is to be inspected so that its current condition can be documented.

They may also:

  • Review historical records to gather an idea of the land’s previous uses.
  • Search state and federal environmental databases to acknowledge any environmental violations committed on the land or surrounding lands.
  • Review previous site plans.
  • Interview current and previous owners to add information not found in the databases.
  • Take photographs to see if an environmental concerns become obvious when observed from afar.

A lot of work may be necessary if contamination is suspected, so people should make sure they are working with a corporation, like Geotech Testing Pty Ltd, that offers services for as many of their needs as possible.

While an environmental assessment may not seem necessary, those who plan to build a home on the land may want one to be sure they are not putting themselves or others at any risk. Although residential contamination may seem rare, it is not unheard of. People should be prepared, and if they are considering buying land on which to build, they may want to have an environmental assessment done to alert them of the tainted land.

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