What Is A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)?
A Phase I ESA is an environmental assessment of a commercial property to identify existing or potential environmental liabilities. The American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM E1527-13) describes what is considered an environmental risk or “recognized environmental condition (REC).” A REC is defined by the ASTM standard as: “the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at a property: (1) due to any release to the environment; (2) under conditions indicative of a release to the environment; or (3) under conditions that pose a material threat of a future release to the environment.”
What Is The Objective Of A Phase I ESA?
The objective of a Phase I ESA is to compile reasonably ascertainable information to render a professional opinion in respect to the environmental condition of a particular property. This allows the buyer or lender to make an informed decision as to the existing or potential liability and risk that could affect the property’s value. The final completion of a Phase I ESA report also protects the user by satisfying the requirements to qualify for the innocent landowner defense under CERCLA. Most lending institutions require a Phase I ESA to protect their financial liability during commercial transactions.
How Long Does It Take To Complete A Phase I ESA Report?
MGF Environmental, PLLC is prepared to complete Phase I ESA reports in 7-14 days. We typically complete the reports faster but this is dependent on information provided by the current and prospective property owners and the ability to access the site for inspection in a timely manner. Please contact us for an estimated completion time for your project.
Who Should Conduct A Phase I ESA Investigation
The ASTM standard states that an environmental professional, geologist, or engineer should conduct a Phase I ESA. MGF will have the investigation work conducted by a geologist or engineer and some of the report preparation will be done by environmental professionals under their supervision. It is an advantage to having a geologist involved when environmental contamination is confirmed in soil and/or groundwater at the site. The geologist/engineer can advise the buyer or lender on the extent of soil/groundwater impacts, soil properties, direction of groundwater flow, types of remediation that are appropriate, and potential cleanup costs that may be incurred. MGF will provide qualifications and resumes of professionals working on each project and include the information in an appendix of the report.
What Is A Phase II ESA And When Is It Required?
When RECs are confirmed at a site above regulatory guidelines and standards a detailed investigation is conducted to determine the extent and risk of the impacts. A Phase II ESA is conducted according to ASTM Standard E1903 to evaluate the environmental condition of the property. The Phase II ESA is a limited assessment to evaluate the types of contaminants and the potential extent of spills and releases identified on the property.
MGF has extensive experience over the past 25 years designing and completing Phase II ESAs for many types of properties and contaminants. You can be confident that the evaluation, sampling, analysis and reporting will be conducted in the most cost-effective and professional manner. The Phase II ESA is a limited assessment and most often leads to the completion of a Comprehensive Site Assessment (CSA). The CSA is a full assessment and delineation of site contaminants in both soil and groundwater.
What To Do When Contamination Is Found On Your Site?
When contamination is found on your property, it will be managed by a county, state or federal regulatory agency until it is cleaned up to applicable standards. MGF will conduct an evaluation of site contaminants and propose the most appropriate innovative technologies that can be incorporated into your budget and schedule. A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) is prepared for your specific situation and the selected remediation plan will be presented to the regulatory agency for their review and approval. MGF’s Principal Geologist, Michael Fallon, is highly experienced with numerous remediation technologies and his experience and knowledge will save you time and money.