NOTICE: Ecology's web applications will be unavailable Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 5:30 to 7:30pm, for scheduled maintenance.



Records Search Checklist

Recommendation:  Before buying property, conduct a thorough Records Search using the checklist below as a guide.


Applies to:

  Some Things to Check: Home-
Check Ecology Site Lists and Searchable Databases
Hazardous Sites List (HSL)
Confirmed & Suspected Contaminated Sites List (CSCS)
Leaking Underground Storage Tank List (LUST)
Facility/Site Database and/or Atlas
EPA's National Priorities List & CERCLIS Database
Conduct Personal Interviews with...
Current and former property owners
  (+operators +employees if small business)
Regulatory Agency Employees
Nearby Residents, Businesses
Review Records of local, state, and federal regulatory agencies
County Health Departments
Local Planning Offices

Check for:
Environmental Permits
Hazardous waste manifests, storage notices, waste generator reports
Inspection Reports
Spill Reports
Violation notices, administrative orders, compliance schedules, enforcement actions
Correspondence regarding the site / property
Zoning, comprehensive plans
Business Licenses
Review Other Public Records
Local newspapers, clipping files
County Auditor's Office
Courts (Superior & District)

Title records
Environmental liens
Surrounding property owners & zoning
Aerial photos
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Polk City Directories
Historical records, photos (e.g., archival records, business records, manuscripts, personal papers)
Books on local history
Periodicals / Journals on local history
Historical Society records
Historical Museum records
Litigation regarding property owner
For commercial properties,
Consider conducting a 'Phase I Site Assessment'
(often done by a contractor)
See:  Selecting an Environmental Consulting Firm (.pdf)

For more detailed information, please read:

See Also:

Disclaimer: This ‘Guide’ is provided as a service to the public. The information provided herein is intended to be helpful, but it is not exhaustive and the user may need to obtain information from additional sources.  Although the ‘Guide’ has undergone review to ensure the quality of the information provided, there is no assurance that it is free from errors.  This ‘Guide’ cannot be relied upon to create rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party in litigation with the State of Washington.