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Friday, December 5, 2014

Environmental Exposure Focus: Shopping Centers

In the past, stores were often stand-alone structures, which meant that whatever environmental issues they experienced were typically contained within their own property boundaries. Today, stores are usually part of large shopping malls or strip malls. They no longer stand alone and the environmental impact of one retail establishment will often affect other establishments in their vicinity. Tenants at shopping centers that could pose a significant risk for environmental impact may include: dry cleaners (solvents), restaurants (grease, cleaning solvents, mold), nail salons (solvents), auto parts stores (oils, solvents, batteries), as well as many others. Environmental exposures could stem from the following areas:
Product/waste transportation
Spills of products or waste during transportation. These products or wastes may be hazardous or non-hazardous and still require cleanup in the event of a spill or cause natural resource damages (ex. In the past, milk spills have caused natural resource damages, etc.).

Waste management
Businesses that typically generate hazardous wastes include: dry cleaning operations, pharmacies, photography kiosks, printing establishments, paint kiosks, plant nurseries, and pet groomers.
Product selection
Paints, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and other products may spill outdoors during loading or unloading activities. Often, these chemicals can persist in the environment for long periods of time and contaminate soil, surfaces, or groundwater.
Product handling and storage
A national retail chain settled a pollution claim for over $30,000. The claim was made against them by state regulators for accidentally discharging ammonia into a creek. Employees were replacing safety valves on an ammonia refrigeration system when ammonia and drinking water leaked into their parking lot and into the creek.
Facility management
Indoor air quality issues can stem from improper management of asbestos, lead paint, and water intrusion which may lead to mold, microbial matter, or other indoor air quality issues. New shopping malls often have building components that off-gas such as drywall, carpet glue fumes, paint emissions, wood adhesives, or preservatives.
The environmental insurance policy that is most applicable to addressing shopping center concerns is a Premises Pollution policy. This product is designed to provide coverage for unknown, historical, and future environmental liabilities such as claims for bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup costs as a result of a pollution event.
Contact us for all your Insurance needs! (321)725-1620
Bob Lancaster Insurance
Serving Florida since 1964

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