Mitigating Environmental and Legal Risks: One Client’s Approach with EnSafe’s Help

Environmental stewardship is the name of the game for one of EnSafe’s top clients, CenterPoint Properties, a firm with a focus on investment, development, and management of industrial real estate and multimodal transportation infrastructure across the United States. With an industrial portfolio of over 140 properties in California, Texas, and Florida alone, CenterPoint has taken a uniquely proactive approach to environmental assessments.

Since 2016, EnSafe has been tasked with conducting annual assessments of all previously acquired properties in California, Texas, and Florida in an effort to detect potential environmental concerns as early as possible. As part of this assessment process, EnSafe conducts a site visit every three years to make observations on property conditions.

Following the site visit, EnSafe consults environmental regulatory databases to review any new environmental issues on the properties or neighboring sites. Additionally, the EnSafe team reviews changes to operations at the properties and looks for potential environmental issues such as storage practices, stains, or pools of liquid. Other items evaluated include new aboveground storage tanks, monitoring wells, or unidentified containers. Between the three-year full property assessments, EnSafe sends annual questionnaires to property managers to capture details about any changes in operations or documented releases.

“In all my time in this industry, I have not seen such a preemptive approach to environmental protection,” said EnSafe Senior Project Manager Thomas Deck, who oversees the CenterPoint Properties account. “These frequent assessments not only serve to protect the environment but are also vital to mitigating CenterPoint’s long-term environmental liability.”

Deck explained that the annual assessments have helped to uncover offsite contamination that posed potential hazards to CenterPoint’s properties. “There have been times during our assessments that we identified new regulatory cases on neighboring properties related to environmental releases, which could, of course, be troublesome for our client,” Deck added. “These assessments help CenterPoint keep a pulse on these environmental conditions and head them off before they can become an issue at their property.”

Too often, environmental issues can go undetected until the property transfers to a new owner or redevelopment uncovers contamination. Once this takes place, costly delays associated with investigation or remediation become necessary. CenterPoint understands that timing is everything when it comes to managing long-term environmental liability.

“CenterPoint’s proactive approach to environmental risk management is an example of our commitment to positively impact the communities in which we operate, our tenants, and their employees,” said CenterPoint’s General Counsel and Head of Risk Management Rick Mathews. “Our partnerships with trusted vendors like EnSafe are critical to fulfilling that commitment.”


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Posted in Case Studies.