Water Contamination, Land Prices, and the Statute of Repose

John F. Chamblee, Carolyn A. Dehring, Craig A. Depken, Joseph R. Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We examine how water contamination risk from an inactive hazardous waste site is capitalized into surrounding vacant land prices. After public knowledge of the first instance of off-site contamination, we find that shallow groundwater contamination potential is negatively capitalized into land prices, as is proximity to a known contaminated well. Public knowledge of off-site contamination and associated land price changes occur after the North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose. Our findings raise questions concerning such statutes when environmental contamination has a long latency period, especially given a recent Supreme Court ruling that Superfund law does not preempt state statutes of repose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-414
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Real Estate Finance and Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2015


  • Hydrology
  • Pollution
  • Property values
  • Superfund

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