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 journalArticlepeer-review


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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