Environmental Consultants and Engineers

Environmental Site Assessments

Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are often completed as part of a property transfer or refinancing of commercial or industrial real estate. The ESA is important to the buyers, sellers and lenders in identifying the potential liabilities of a variety of hazards. The ESA might include investigations of:

• Past and present property use

• Asbestos-containing materials

• Waste disposal

• Lead-containing materials

• Hazardous materials handling

• Regulatory Compliance record

• Underground storage tanks

• PCB-containing equipment

• Contaminated Soil

• Environmental constraints

The environmental site assessment process documents the best efforts of all parties to identify environmental liabilities associated with a property. The assessment also establishes the innocent party defense. The assessment may then affect the purchase price, contractual arrangements or even the viability of the deal.

Phase I ESA

The Phase I ESA is a preliminary site evaluation used to develop an understanding of past activities at a site through a review of historical information about the site and a thorough physical inspection of the site. Interviews of owners and operators at the property are also conducted.

The purpose of the Phase I ESA is to identify recognized environmental conditions on the property. Under ASTM E1527-05, recognized environmental conditions are defined as the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release, or a material threat of a release.

We also comply with the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry requirements.

Soil and water sampling is typically not included in a Phase I ESA—the purpose of a preliminary assessment is, after all, to determine whether such sampling is necessary. It is often cost-effective, however, to perform asbestos or lead-based paint sampling at the same time as the Phase I ESA. Lenders will often require these surveys be added to the Phase I scope of work when older buildings are present on the subject property.

Phase II ESA

A Phase II ESA further investigates recognized environmental conditions identified in the Phase I report. This may involve soil or groundwater sampling, dye tests of drains with unknown discharge points, or other investigation of issues raised in the Phase I.

If required, corrective action plans can be developed to resolve the environmental condition. Budgets for cleaning up the site and complying with regulations can then be prepared.

16 East 39th, Spokane, WA 99203
(509) 536-9676