Hazmat Magazine, Spring 2009
by Marc McAree
Almost every municipality has contamination under roadways from common sources like gas stations, dry cleaners and local industries. All too often, municipalities aren't aware of soil or groundwater contamination until someone digs, complains or sues.
Municipalities face potential environmental liability for contamination as road owners and from their statutory obligations to maintain and repair roads. They may need to respond to occupational health and safety issues, environmental issues, potential tort claims and possible regulatory actions.
Many off-site property owners and users do not take responsibility for the contamination that they’ve caused - particularly because roads are all too often considered to be without commercial land value. However, there are numerous consequences of contamination for municipalities that can be far more serious than the impact on the value of the road.
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