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Site Assessment

Kynoch Environmental Management provides comprehensive environmental engineering support for Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), an important part of any commercial property transaction and also a requirement for LEED certification. 

ESAs are the industry standard to screen for costly environmental contamination issues that can create ongoing liability.


Under Federal, State and local laws, current and prior property owners are liable for the cost of cleaning up soil, groundwater, and surface water contamination discovered during excavation or construction of a building. If you are buying – or financing – a property, you need to know if any contamination or hazardous conditions exist before closing the transaction. It’s important to know that the cost of cleanup may even include adjacent properties where surface and groundwater contamination from your property has spread. 


​A variety of actions can cause a Phase I ESA to be performed for a commercial property, including: 

  • Purchase of real property by a person or entity not previously on the title.

  • Contemplation by a lender to provide a real estate loan.

  • 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's Phase I ESAs are conducted in accordance with ASTM E-1527-13. 

  • 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. 

  • Environmental sampling is generally NOT a part of a Phase I ESA. 


If a Phase I ESA uncovers a significant environmental concern, there is generally a recommendation to conduct a Phase II ESA following ASTM E-1903-11. This standard guides environmental sampling and data collection to support objective, specific, and analytical solution(s) to environmental concerns identified as a part of the Phase I ESA. A Phase II ESA may involve soil drilling to conduct a subsurface evaluation of potentially contaminated soils or groundwater or sampling for indoor air quality concerns from suspected vapor intrusion issues.

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