Do I Need a Phase I ESA?
You may or may not need a phase 1 to complete the deal but you will be taking a huge gamble if you choose not to get one. A Phase I ESA is typically required by lenders who are making loans on property. If you don't understand why, you need and Phase 1, then you have come to the right place.
What is a Phase 1 ESA?
It's an investigation of a property which must be conducted following ASTM standards which conform to the All-Appropriate Inquiry standards, acceptable to the USEPA for provision of certain defenses against CERCLA liability.
In simple terms, it's an investigation of your property by a trained professional into the current and past history and uses of the property in question. What was previously on the site? What could past usage have done? Did any usage contaminate the soil or groundwater of the site? How about the current operation? Are any petroleum, hazardous materials or chemicals in use at the site, or have they been released to the air, soil or groundwater at or near the site?
This investigation can determine if there are any conditions that are indicative of releases of petroleum or hazardous materials or chemicals at the site, now or in the past. These conditions are collectively known as "REC" or recognized environmental conditions.
A REC can be the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at a property: (1) due to any release to the environment; (2) under conditions indicative of a release to the environment; or (3) under conditions that pose a material threat of a future release to the environment.