South Dakota Real Estate Continuing Education Environmental Basics

Environmental Basics

60.00 60.00

  • Course Delivery: On Demand
  • Credit Hours: 6
  • Credit Type: Required


Identifying environmental hazards and how they affect the real estate industry is the basic goal of this course, including environmental factors that may require a disclosure statement. Other topics covered are air quality, radon, asbestos, urea formaldehyde foam insulation, mold, ground water, smart growth, and green housing. Students will learn about the major health effects and remedies of these substances, as well as ways of preventing or eliminating biological pollutants.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- List common environmental hazards that require disclosure in a listing agreement; Summarize ways real estate licensees can minimize liability and still fulfill their duties to clients; Discuss sources of pollution that affect indoor air quality; Explain why urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) may be a problem to certain people; Identify the major health hazards of formaldehyde
- Identify the major health effects of exposure to lead and asbestos; Recognize the types of materials that contain asbestos; List sources of lead poisoning; Illustrate what must be disclosed to buyers/sellers when lead contamination is suspected
- Explain what mold is, the conditions under which it grows, the steps to its prevention, and how to get rid of it; Analyze the health effects of mold exposure; Diagram the steps licensees can take to reduce toxic mold liability; Plan for what real estate professionals can do when microbial contamination is suspected on a property; Summarize the provisions of the proposed Federal Toxic Mold Bill H.R. 5040, otherwise known as the Melina Bill
- Identify the major health effects of exposure to radon; Name the various ways to test for radon and know what questions to ask when radon pollution is suspected in a home; Recognize sources of groundwater contamination; List clues real estate licensees can look for when inspecting properties for possible underground storage tanks; Follow the testing methods for leaking underground storage tanks
- Recognize signs of a hazardous waste dump site; Discuss brownfields and why their cleanup and redevelopment is important; Cite the legislation which governs brownfields and explain the intent of the legislation; Identify who is liable for the cleanup costs of a brownfield, who is responsible for the revitalization, and who is exempt from the restoration laws
- Illustrate the functions of wetlands and the importance of wetland remediation; Classify the unique characteristics of different wetland types, specifically marshes, swamps and bogs; Evaluate the various landowner assistance programs available to wetland owners; Relate the position held by NAR in regards to wetland legislation; Identify the entities who regulate the management and use of wetlands
- Discuss courses of action a buyer could take when an environmental hazard is found on a property; Describe and explain the responsibilities a licensee has to a client when conducting a real estate transaction, such as disclosure of noted potential environmental hazards; Delineate the kinds of projects for which loans are offered by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program; Elaborate on what smart growth is and why it is important; Recite the key points of the relationship between smart growth and both environmental protection and business
- Analyze the costs of sprawl and the results of poorly managed growth; Enumerate the key features of smart growth that simultaneously protect environmental assets, build community livability, and encourage economic development; Evaluate the real estate professional's role in promoting smart growth and becoming an advocate for increased quality of life
- Elaborate on buyer demand for healthy homes, how to sell them and cost comparisons of green homes versus traditional ones; List the four main causes of poor indoor air quality; Summarize the potential dangers of modern materials used in construction
- Relate the components of energy efficient houses and list some of the green features in newly built homes; Recognize that real estate professionals should be able to help clients make the best decision about buying a home which will cost less in terms of energy use; Distinguish how building green healthy homes can increase the buying power for a homebuyer and increase selling power, as well, by making older homes more appealing; Measure energy ratings and energy efficient mortgages


Topics Covered

This course covers the following topics:
Environmental Hazards: Indoor Pollutants and Formaldehyde
Asbestos and Lead
Radon, Ground Water, and Underground Storage Tanks
Hazardous Waste and Brownfields
Smart Growth: Part I
Smart Growth: Part II
Green Housing: Part I
Green Housing: Part II


Regulatory Information

Environmental Basics - South Dakota Real Estate Commission

  • Name:
  • South Dakota Real Estate Commission
  • Phone:
  • 605-773-3600
  • Fax:
  • 605-773-4356
  • Website URL:
  • Email Address:
  • Address:
  • 221 W. Capitol, Ste. 101
  • City:
  • Pierre
  • State:
  • SD
  • Zip:
  • 57501


There are no prerequisites required for this course


End of Course Instructions

Once you have completed this continuing education course you return to your student profile page where your Certificate of Completion is available for printing. Please keep a copy of your certificate for your own records.


Quiz Information

You are required to pass the quizzes to move on to the next lesson.



You will be required to pass the final exam with a 70% in order to receive course credit.

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