Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

City Firm Speeds Up Access to Environmental Risk Data

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

City Firm Speeds Up Access to Environmental Risk Data

Article excerpt

Local businesses can now obtain environmental information of particular sites easier than before.

Companies considering land transactions often seek information about environmental risks associated with the property from governmental agencies. However, the information usually takes six to eight weeks to be delivered from the individual agencies.

On May 1, an Oklahoma City-based company began making this information available to firms in only days.

SiteSearch Environmental Information has allied with a San Diego firm for exclusive distribution of that company's national environmental risk information to four states including Oklahoma, it was announced Monday.

Software to provide this environmental information was developed and used for the last five years by the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Defense. The government has since commercialized the data base and has given exclusive rights to Vista Information Solutions of San Diego.

SiteSearch is one of Vista's four exclusive distributors nationwide. Other states SiteSearch distributes to are Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

"We are looking to expand into Missouri in the near future," said Mike Procter, co-owner of SiteSearch. "Beyond that, we have no plans."

The newly formed association provides SiteSearch clients with local environmental experts utilizing the most comprehensive environmental data base in the U.S., according to Procter.

Assessing environmental risk is a relatively new but important requirement of American businesses, he said.

"The potential legal and financial liability associated with environmentally contaminated sites requires thorough review before properties are leased or purchased," Procter said.

"We can now provide the most up-to-date information on nearly 2 million contaminated or potentially contaminated sites. Our clients also have access to extensive map and historical records collections."

Information concerning environmental hazards is compiled from numerous sources and is available in several forms. …

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