In this episode of In Our Expert Opinion Real Estate Podcast, Tim Bosetti, Senior Project Manager and Environmental Engineer at A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, joins Linda to share his expertise in the world of environmental issues and remediation in Florida's real estate landscape. The discussion delves into Tim's impressive background, the importance of environmental assessments in property transactions, and the vital role of environmental remediation in ensuring safe and sustainable development.
Below is an excerpt from the interview. Listen above for the full podcast.
What is an environmental engineer? It is a very broad career when you talk about environmental engineering because there's so many different specialties within that environmental umbrella. There's people that deal with and focus on air quality, water quality, wastewater, environmental remediation systems, and the list of specialties goes on.
I guess I really started off in the water and wastewater side, but now I do just regular, generic, and across-the-board environmental engineering - just doing a plethora of different things.
What did you do in the military? I was in the army for three years as an environment engineer and lived all over the place. I started off in the United States and was involved in Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) in the mid-90s when we were closing army bases and actually all bases across the Department of Defense.
We were dealing with Navy, Air Force, and Army bases as well as other defense sites. There were manufacturing facilities that we had to deal with and close those out. I dealt with new property acquisition as we did expansions in Eastern Europe as well as the Asia Pacific arena and Africa.
What is A-C-T? It stands for American Compliance Technologies. A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure is actually the full name. They've been around for almost 36 years, and it's a great family-owned company that's located in Central Florida. They’ve got great employees, leadership, and management. In fact, it was just nominated as one of the best places to work for the fifth or sixth year.
During the real estate transaction process, there's a due diligence period that the buyer has. In that due diligence period, that's usually when they'll ask us for that phase one assessment.
The phase one assessment is mostly a records review and site research. There is a site visit that's involved, but it typically doesn't involve any type of environmental sampling or anything else - it's mostly visual.
If there’s a potential recognized environmental condition that would need to be addressed, those will trickle into that phase two assessment of doing additional soil sampling and groundwater sampling to find out what's there, how bad it is, and how much is there.
Why are environmental assessments important? I think that it's important to give that full disclosure to your buyer so that they know what they're gonna get. Nine times out of ten, there's nothing there, but there's always the one and you don't want to be that one.
We had a client who bought a piece of property that was a former gas station on the corner of an intersection - which is a typical red flag, but they were out of state and they didn't know. They purchased it, they were getting ready to flip it, and the buyer said, “I want to do a phase one.”
We did a phase one and found out that there were actually three different spills on that site. That’s three different things that were in the database for cleanup, but had not been addressed.
The buyer is now fully aware of the condition of the property and the seller offered A-C-T to do the work. As they went through the buying process, we were there with them, working for both the seller and the buyer and with the state and the county on what to do next. That buyer now accepts full liability and responsibility for cleanup, we got them into the program, got them state funding, and that work is actually ongoing.