Frequently Asked Questions
Who should perform an Environmental Site Assessment?
ESAs are often required by lenders, but anyone purchasing a property, entering or exiting a lease and/or changes of ownership of a business operating on a property are also reasons you should perform an assessment – to understand the environmental liabilities associated with a site.
What is involved in a Phase I Assessment?
Phase I assessments evaluate the current and former uses of a property and determine the environmental risks associated with the property and surrounding area. A Phase I includes reviewing all available information regarding current and former environmental activities, ownership, and use of petroleum and potentially hazardous materials on a property as well as risks that may be posed by other nearby properties. It includes a site inspection and extensive reviews of municipal and environmental records, maps and other ascertainable information on the property. While Phase Is evaluate risks, no sampling is typically performed at this phase. If risks are identified soil and groundwater testing for contaminants is often recommended.
Do I need a consultant?
Environmental work is very specialized, your lender or attorney will often advise you to use a professional to objectively evaluate risks associated with a property prior to purchase. This is sound advice. It is better to know about environmental problems at the front end of a deal rather than finding out too late you are responsible for an environmental clean-up.
Consultants can usually determine what the potential issues are early in the process and evaluate potential costs to stay in compliance with environmental regulations.