What are the differences among these terms?

  • Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) – A commonly used term to describe the general process for evaluating the environmental condition of a property. Includes Phase I and Phase II.Also used in state law to establish requirements for lenders that want to qualify for a state liability exemption.
  • All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) – The federal code for conducting a Phase I ESA in order to preserve a Superfund liability defense and to qualify for federal brownfield grants, as well as state grants and loans that use federal funds. Equivalent to ASTM Standard E 1527-05.
  • Environmental Due Diligence – An older, more general term used to describe environmental site assessment.
  • Transaction Screen (TS) – A transaction screen is conducted for a parcel of commercial real estate where the user wishes to conduct limited environmental due diligence (less than a Phase I ESA). If the driving force behind the environmental due diligence is a desire to qualify for one of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Landowner Liability Protections (LLPs), this practice should not be applied. The TS does not include comprehensive historical research.