Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA)
A Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) provides liability protection for new or prospective owners of a contaminated property. A new owner/ operator can buy, lease or foreclose on a contaminated property and not become liable for cleanup of the property, provided they did not cause the contamination, if they conduct a BEA and disclose it to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) within the required time. The BEA can also be used to establish a means to distinguish a new release from a pre-existing contamination in the event that hazardous substances or petroleum products will be used on the property.
Once the BEA is completed, a Due Care Plan is provided to the owner/operator that outlines the proper use of the contaminated piece of property that includes measures to protect occupants and the general public from contamination, inhibit the spread of contamination on and off the property and evaluating the contamination and taking necessary response actions if needed. Due care requirements are not related to the owner or operator's liability for the contaminants; they apply to non-liable parties and liable parties alike. This document is kept on the property to ensure that the properties can be safely redeveloped.