PHASE I ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENTS
The objective of a Phase I Environment Site Assessment (SEA) is to assess the presence of or potential for environmental concerns associated with current and past property use as well as potential impact to the property from off-site environmental concerns. The Phase I ESA consists of several components, including the following:
- Visual Inspection
- Historical Records review
- Regulatory records database review
- Recommendations with details addressing identified concerns.
With the aid of a Phase I ESA, property owners, prospective buyers and lenders can fully understand the potential for environmental impact to the site and evaluate the liability associated with past or present site use and operations.
To meet the needs of buyers and sellers of real property, and to help protect the interests of lenders by determining a site’s condition in the context of potential legal responsibilities and costs, Criterion performs environmental site assessments and property transfer audits of both vacant and improved properties. The Phase I ESA is the most thorough assessment for ensuring that you are obtaining commercial real estate without environmental worries.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessments
Often Phase I ESA’s identify environmental concerns related to historical property use or activities on nearby properties that require additional investigation before a determination can be made regarding the environmental condition of a property. In these instances, a Phase II ESA is recommended. The environmental concerns addressed may include asbestos, lead-based paint, radon gas, or other indoor air quality issues. However, most Phase II ESA’s are performed because of potential subsurface impact to the property from the use or storage of chemicals and petroleum products and involve the collection of soil borings using a hydraulic probe or rotary drill rig and the collection of soil. Soil samples are examined for evidence of contamination and may be screened in the field using handheld instruments or test kits. Based on the field examination, selected soil samples are submitted to accredited laboratories for contaminant analysis. Any identified contaminant concentrations are compared to applicable and relevant standards, and the requirements or necessity of additional investigations are evaluated.
Advanced contamination assessments are performed on properties that have identified contamination. These assessments are usually defined by state regulatory agencies and are performed in accordance with state-specific assessment standards. The assessments often involve extensive interaction with regulators charged with oversight and approval of site assessment work. These assessments generally include numerous soil borings to define the lateral and vertical extent of contamination. The contamination assessment results are used to evaluate the necessity and advisability of remediation and provide estimated costs of any proposed remedial project.