As any landlord or tenant involved in leasing industrial space will know, one of the most important issues to address is the responsibility for environmental contamination. The standard provisions generally allocate the costs of lease term contamination to the tenant and absolve the tenant of responsibility for pre-existing conditions. But is it necessary or desirable to complete pre-commencement date environmental testing to establish a baseline? The answer may turn on whether the new tenant will be using similar hazardous substances as previously present in the premises; if so, it may be impossible to ascertain later whether the new tenant has caused the contamination. The cost of the testing should also be considered, which will depend on the extent of any areas of environmental concern and the number of contaminants addressed by the testing. Finally, a landlord should consider the implications of finding elevated levels of contamination – its ability to recoup costs from previous tenants or owners, its obligation to disclose contamination to lenders or regulators and the possibility that a clean-up could be required. Share all available information with your counsel in order to make the best decision. Your thoughts?