Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments

Before you purchase your property, you need at least a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). An ESA is conducted to mitigate the risk of purchasing a property with environmental contamination.

At Best in the West Safety, we do Phase I environmental site assessments. 

Q: What is a Phase I ESA?

A: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is an initial investigative review of a prospective property for purchase that deals with finding environmental concerns that may be there currently or in it’s past. ASTM E1527-05/13

Q: Who needs a Phase I ESA?

A: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is typically asked by a lending institution but it may be something the prospective buyer wishes to do on their own with respect to due diligence.

Q: Who can prepare a Phase I ESA?

A: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is typically prepared by an environmental professional. Each State has its own requirements as to who is authorized or credentialed as a professional to conduct a Phase I. Check with the local jurisdiction on where you can find a qualified consultant.

Q: What types of information do you get from conducting a Phase I ESA?

A: A Phase I ESA looks at a number of historical documents, such as environmental compliance records (local, State and Federal), aerial photos, topography, neighboring compliance records, ownership, business types, Sanborn maps, etc. It also includes a site visit inspection and interviews of neighboring property owners or tenants about the history of the site as it relates to environmental issues.

Q: Why do I need a paid professional?

A: The documentation gathered includes other physical site conditions such as climate, geology, regulatory information and hydrology. The professional consultant will review the data presented and interpret the results. They will also assemble the report and sign it.

Q: What happens if the report finds something?

A: The environmental professional may suggest that there is sufficient reason for further investigation of the site. This may involve a few limited environmentally selected samples, or a full Phase II analysis. The Phase II study involves a more rigorous site investigation that could include: soil and water sampling, building material sampling or even air sampling.

Q: I have heard of Transaction Screens. How are these different than a Phase I?

A: A transaction screen involves many of the same elements as a Phase I ESA, but is less extensive. The history of the property is well known or is relatively new for example. Records must go back to 1940 or the first site development of the property. ASTM E1528

Q: How much does it cost for a Phase I ESA for a commercial property?

A: The prices will range based on several factors. The most significant factor is the location of the property. Is it in a rural setting or within a major city? Is it near major industrial businesses (petroleum, chemical or manufacturing factories)? These all affect the time required to interview the surrounding properties and investigate potential historical ground contamination. To get a quote from Best in the West Safety, contact us.

Q: How do I find a Phase I ESA professional?

A: Many jurisdictions have professional lists from which you can choose from. Your lending institution may also have a list of professionals in which to choose from. Best in the West Safety is also a trusted Phase I ESA professional. Contact us to get a quote on your property.

Need a Phase I ESA?

Call or email us to schedule your Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.