Long before it was a data center, the previous owner stored hazardous chemicals. Now what?

March 27, 2017

When Virtual Care Providers, Inc. (VCPI) set out to sell their company, David Bartlett, VCPI Chief Financial Officer, thought they had their environmental due diligence squared away. “We did our due diligence in 2006 when we purchased the property,” said Bartlett. “Unfortunately we discovered that the original Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) missed some potential issues.”

To complete the sale, VCPI needed to conduct a new Phase 1 assessment. That’s when David hired SCS Engineers to help VCPI through the environmental due diligence process. “When Ray Tierney and his team went through the Phase 1 process, they discovered there was something there. The original Phase 1 from our prior consultant missed some things.”

Long before it was a data center, the property owner used hazardous chemicals in their manufacturing process. As part of that process, they stored some of the chemicals on the exterior of the property. Although the chemicals had been removed long ago, some of them had spilled onto unpaved areas. While VCPI had no knowledge of the property’s prior use when they bought it, SCS Engineers uncovered detailed records and photos of the chemical storage in state agency files.

“Of course the parties involved in the sale were concerned about these past issues and the impact they could have on the sale and ongoing use of the property,” Bartlett confirmed. “We initiated a Phase 2 to gain clarification. Then we worked with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to get the property closed.” In the end, no active remediation was required. However, these steps were necessary to get the WDNR to grant site closure.

“Being in this situation was painful,” Bartlett admitted. “But SCS Engineers’ integrity shone through in every step and was absolutely critical. Everyone that I worked with at SCS Engineers gave us peace of mind that the steps we took weren’t just to pad pocketbooks. Ray’s team showed us how each step in the process was necessary to get us past the problems, on to resolution, and on to the successful sale of our company. I completely trusted the information SCS Engineers gave us.”

“Without Ray and his team, we never would have been able to expedite the process. We simply didn’t have the connections or the relationships with the WDNR to move it along. SCS Engineers’ familiarity with the process and relationships with the WDNR really helped speed us to resolution, which allowed us to move forward with the sale of our business.”

“I don’t know what would have happened or how long it would have taken without SCS Engineers’ expertise. The depth and breadth of their knowledge shed light on issues I wasn’t aware of. Not only did Ray’s team help us uncover the issues, they gave us a plan to determine the extent of those issues and helped show us how to move past them. Their expertise, knowledge, and guidance were critical.”

VCPI kept the sale of their business on track and closed on December 22, 2016.

Thank you for your kind letter, Mr. Bartlett. We were happy to help resolve the issues leading to the sale and the safe ongoing use of the property by its new owner.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:00 am
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