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Environmental issues can arise in development projects

5/4/2012 | Real Estate Blog

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that landscaping contractors will be replacing roughly 3,400 trees in Norristown and four other Philadelphia suburbs which were lost in development projects. The effort, which will reportedly cost $2.2 million, is being funded by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society are partners in the project. The goal is to help manage storm-water runoff, revitalize neighborhoods, and improve air quality.

The municipalities selected for planting trees were chosen because of the presence of large streams and rivers, as well as sewers than struggle with overflow. It is hoped that the project will encourage neighborhood improvement in the communities benefiting from it.

One of the development topics suggested by this story is that planners can run into environmental issues. There are a variety of ways developers can encounter environmental issues. It sometimes manifests itself as opposition from the community about changes to the environment posed by development plans, sometimes as contamination on sites under consideration development, sometimes as environmental regulations and reporting requirements.

In the case of contaminated property, there are a number of risks involved, including liability for cleanup costs, construction workers exposure, and the difficulty of insuring against known risks. Various types of sites are liable to encounter environmental sites, including rental car sites, bus depots, taxi businesses, trucking companies and airports.

Managing the risks of developing such properties involves careful planning and investigation before hand. Working with a real estate attorney will ensure that nothing is overlooked in the planning stages of a development project.

Source:, “Thousands of trees felled by development will be replaced,” Bonnie L. Cook, May 1, 2012.