Phase 1 Environmental Assessment
Phase I ESA is conducted in general accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials document Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process document (ASTM E 1527-13), and the Environmental Protection Agency’s amended All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) rule (40 CFR 312).
It consists of four key components: 1) Records Review, 2) Site Reconnaissance, 3) Interviews, and 4) Report Preparation.
The records review includes searching through Federal, state, and local lists which identify problem sites. The approximate minimal search distance may vary depending on the list, however, it is typically a one mile radius for state and Federal hazardous waste site lists and a one-quarter mile radius for other lists. The search is performed by a data management computer service. Information about the subject property’s physical setting such as topography and geology is reviewed. The historical use of the subject property is researched and includes the review of the following: aerial photographs, city directories, fire insurance maps, tax records, chain of title records, and other historical sources. If available, geotechnical reports and other previous assessments, construction drawings, grading plans, permits, Material Safety Data Sheets, and other information are reviewed.
If contamination is ever found on your property – even if contamination originated on another site and travelled to yours – you’re 100% liable for the full cost of environmental cleanup which could cost thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment prior to purchase establishes site was “clean” or you had no reason to suspect contamination when you took possession, and qualifies you to apply for federal innocent landowner environmental liability protections should it ever become necessary to do so.
Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment prior to purchase protects you from all costs associated with contamination caused by others and/or limits your responsibility to any contamination cause by you or your activities or processes.
Protect yourself from liability
What is included in a Phase 1 ESA?
Inspection of site and surrounding properties
Review of soil, geology, and topography
Review of relevant state and regulatory database files and records
Historical information such as fire insurance maps and aerial photographs
Interviews with key persons
Development of a report
What is not included in a Phase 1 ESA?
Inspection for asbestos
Inspection for lead-based paint (LBP)
Environmental compliance issues such as storm water
Sampling of soil, groundwater, or soil gas
Geologists, Environmental Specialists and Geographers with proficiencies in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).