Buying or Selling Property with History of Soil or Groundwater Contamination?

May 2, 2016


No matter where the real property is located you may need a vapor intrusion pathway screening.


If you are buying or selling a property with a history of soil or groundwater contamination in Wisconsin, the state’s Department of Natural Resources requires vapor intrusion pathway screening. The screening is also necessary when buying or selling a property adjacent to a property with soil or groundwater contamination. Is this analysis necessary?

The screening is essential; vapors from contaminated soil or groundwater may transfer to indoor air, causing health risks. The vapors may or may not have an odor. Screen testing and analysis will determine their existence and the level of concentration. Most commonly levels are low, and no additional action is necessary. If beyond the threshold determined safe by your state, some mitigation may be required before purchase.

It is not a simple matter to apply an individual state’s current regulatory guidance to determine the need for vapor intrusion mitigation. The actual intrusion, or expected intrusion in the case of new buildings, is often overstated, and some regulatory agencies use screening values for indoor air chemical concentrations that are at or below levels commonly found in buildings. The slightest error in sampling technique can dramatically affect the resulting data.

SCS offers the full array of vapor intrusion services for residential, commercial, and industrial properties, and for developers, municipalities, lenders, attorneys, industrial facilities, tenants, landlords, and buyers and sellers of real property.

Contact SCS at 1-800-767-4727 or email us at .

Question about  this blog, please email one of the authors  Robert Langdon and Thomas Karwoski.

SCS has offices nationwide to serve our customers. To learn more about vapor mitigation, please visit the SCS website here:

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am