Do You Need A Phase I ESA? YES, YOU DO!

Posted: May 21, 2012

If you are buying or financing a property, or applying for a LEED designation, you need to know if any contamination or hazardous conditions exist on the property. The cost of cleanup may not be limited to your property, but may include adjacent properties where surface and groundwater contamination might have originated from your property. Federal, State and local laws make current and prior property owners liable for the cost of cleaning up contaminated soils, groundwater and surface water. LEED Applications also require a Phase I ESA as a part of the process. Therefore, having a Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) is very important!

Phase I ESAs conducted and produced by KEM are prepared 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.

There are a variety of actions that 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 use permit
  • Compulsion by a regulatory agency who suspects toxic conditions on the site
  • Divestiture of properties

KEM can help you with Phase I ESAs. Our environmental specialists will work to understand your project needs and concerns and will then design an ESA to meet your needs. Please call us at 301-961-1653 or email us at