buying old gas station tanks removed was release 20 years ago seller got a NFA letter, any liability i inherit

property has operated as restaurant last 18 years, just wandering if will be liable if find contamination in future, the state spent 500,000 cleaning up from state fund , old owner part of ust insurance.
In Buying Property - Asked by s b. - Aug 31, 2015
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Elizabeth (Beth) S.
Atlanta, GA

I am not an attorney but it is my understanding that whenever contamination is found the government has the right to go after either the polluter or the property owner. Generally speaking if they have a major oil company on the hook, they are likely to go after them but they always have the option of going after the property owner. NFA stands for "no further action". It doesn't say "clean". However NFA is the best you can get. Sophisticated buyers always get Phase I reports (even when there isn't a known history of a gas station) and Phase II if recommended by the Phase I. If your agent and attorney didn't recommend that, you should consider getting better advise. If you aren't working with an experienced agent and a real estate attorney, you should be. There probably isn't a problem, but if there is a problem it can be very expensive so you need to take proper precautions.

Sep 1, 2015
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