Phase I / II Environmental Site Assessment
Environmental site assessments are one of the best ways to evaluate the environmental liability associated with a real estate assest, and can be utilized to estimate the level of environmental risk associated with a property and prepare solutions to reduce or eliminate that risk.
Although contamination may seem unlikely, even small quantities of chemicals released into the soil or groundwater can lead to safety and environmental concerns and can potentially cause long-term health effects for human, animal, and plant populations and reduce the value of real estate assets. Sources of contamination are often associated with industrial and commercial activity which include: chemical spills and discharges, improper waste disposal, leakage of gasoline from underground storage tanks, use of solvents and industry cleaners, and illegal dumping of hazardous waste.
A proactive approach involving a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment can minimize environmental and financial liability and preserve the long-term health and financial value of your real estate asset.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments: Preliminary Assessment
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are utilized to evaluate the environmental liability associated with a real estate asset and are used to meet the Federal Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) All Appropriate Inquiry Rule. A typical Phase I Environmental Site Assessment will consist of a site visit by an environmental professional, research of historical documents (including aerial photographs, building permits, and topographic maps), a regulatory database search including fire departments and state and federal environmental agencies, interviews with current and past tenants, owners, and state and local regulators. The purpose of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is to identify potential "Recognized Environmental Conditions" and determine if additional investigation (Phase II Environmental Site Assessment) is necessary.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessments: Field Sampling and Analysis
In the event a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment identifies the potential for contamination on the property, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment may be necessary to further assess the environmental condition of the property and to determine if the property has been impacted by on-site or off-site recognized environmental conditions.
During a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, soil and/or groundwater samples are collected and analyzed in a laboratory for the presence of select regulated chemical compounds. The results of the analyses allow the client to document the environmental condition of the property, manage the environmental risk, and avoid future financial costs, operation delays, and potential legal liability.