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Leaks pollute appraisal

September 16, 2002

Appraisal Institute informs Congress on impact of leaking storage tanks on value of real estate

Inman News Features

Environmental contamination has been cited as jeopardizing a home's value in addition to putting the health of homeowners at risk.

Appraisal Institute member William C. Harvey II, testified before the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity of the House Committee on Financial Services yesterday regarding the damaging effects that environmental contamination, such as leaking underground storage tanks, poses on communities and the value of real estate.

The group's testimony addressed the issues of valuing contaminated property in its pre-contaminated state and the impact that leaking underground storage tanks can have on the housing market.

The methodology and valuation process for appraising contaminated property in its pre-contaminated condition, which is referred to as a retrospective appraisal, and the reliability of such methodology, was explained.

The testimony also addressed the fact that communities in many parts of the country have witnessed leaking underground storage tanks that have had a wide-ranging impact on the economic condition of such communities as well as the health and productivity of their citizens.

The Subcommittee also heard testimony from a resident and state and local officials representing a community in Pennsylvania that is contending with underground storage tank contamination.

In addition, Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA) testified on legislation he is sponsoring that amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act. The bill would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency to guarantee loans to homeowners with contaminated properties and assist them in moving from such properties on a temporary or permanent basis.

The Appraisal Institute is an organization for professional real estate appraisers with more than 20,000 members. The organization has developed and now teaches seminars relating to environmental issues that impact the value of real estate.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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