Why Do You Need a Phase I ESA?

Posted: May 24, 2011

Phase I ESAFederal, State and local laws make current and prior property owners liable for the cost of cleaning up contaminated soils, groundwater and surface water. If you are buying – or financing – a property, you need to know if any contamination or hazardous conditions exist before the transaction. The cost of clean-up may not just be on your property but any other property including surface and groundwater that may have originated on your property. This is why Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are so important.

A variety of actions can cause a Phase I ESA to be performed for a commercial property, the most common being:

  • Purchase of real property by a person or entity not previously on title
  • Contemplation by a lender to provide a loan on the subject real estate
  • Partnership buyout or principal redistribution of ownership.
  • Application for LEED designation
  • Application to a public agency for change of use or other discretionary land usepermit
  • Compulsion by a regulatory agency who suspects toxic conditions on the site
  • Divestiture of properties

Phase I ESAs are conducted in accordance with ASTM E-1527-05. Generally, a Phase I ESA investigates historical and current uses of the property to identify recognized environmental conditions which may impact continued use or planned development of a site.

Phase II ESAPhase II ESAs are conducted if the Phase I ESA identifies concerns that require further testing and evaluation. A typical Phase II ESA involves drilling for a subsurface evaluation of contaminated soils or groundwater.

KEM can meet your needs for Phase I and Phase II ESAs. Our environmental specialists will work to understand your project needs and concerns and will then design an ESA to meet your needs.