Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)

Phase I ESAs are performed prior to property transfer or the closing of industrial and commercial real-estate transactions to determine if recognized environmental conditions exist on a subject property.

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is the gold standard for evaluating the environmental liability associated with a real estate asset.  A Phase I ESA is used to identify actual and potential environmental concerns and contamination at a Site which may impact the property value or affect claim to an “innocent land owner” exemption following acquisition.

A Phase I ESA is performed prior to property transfer or the closing of industrial and commercial real-estate transactions to determine if recognized environmental conditions exist on a subject property. American Environmental performs ESAs in accordance with the most recent American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard E 1527-21, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessment: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.

This practice is the industry standard for conducting ESAs and is the basis for justifying due diligence satisfies the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) requirements for Landowner Liability Protections.

American Environmental Phase I Environmental Site Assessment includes:

  • A review of historical and current environmental records and documentation pertaining to the Site, including review of Sanborn Insurance Maps, aerial photos and USGS 7.5' topographical maps;
  • Regulatory records review, including Federal, State, Local and Tribal records concerning the property and the neighboring properties;
  • Performance of an on-site visit to view present conditions and evaluate any likely environmentally hazardous site history;
  • Evaluation of risks of neighboring properties upon the subject property;
  • Interview of persons knowledgeable regarding the property history (past owners, present owner, key site manager, present tenants, neighbors);
  • Professional report, including conclusions and recommendations concerning the property, based on our professional judgment and findings.

Our Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are meticulously crafted to ensure comprehensive due diligence, as defined in AST E 1527-21. Each professional report includes detailed conclusions and recommendations based on our findings and professional judgment. Our recommendations are tailored to the specific environmental conditions identified during the assessment. For instance:

Recognized Environmental Conditions (REC): If an REC is identified, indicating known or potential subsurface contamination, we recommend further investigative or remedial actions to clarify the nature and extent of the contamination.

Controlled Recognized Conditions (CREC): In cases where a CREC is noted, suggesting that while contamination has been addressed, residual contamination remains, we advise on additional measures that may be necessary, particularly if redevelopment is planned.

Historical Recognized Environmental Condition (HREC): When an HREC is documented, reflecting a release that was remediated to meet unrestricted use criteria, we typically confirm that no further action is required unless new information suggests otherwise.

Our Phase I ESAs will protect your assets by offering the degree of detail required to legally meet your environmental due diligence obligations as defined in ASTM E 1527-21. Our Phase I ESA reports are guaranteed to meet or exceed the ASTM Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, ensuring not only compliance but also protection for your assets with the necessary level of detail and precision.

Financial institutions frequently require that a Phase I ESA be conducted to accomplish this task. The purpose of the Phase I Environmental report is to identify, to the extent feasible, recognized environmental conditions in connection with the property. This assessment will provide you with information to assist in making an informed business decision. Overlooking this concern can cost you substantial future environmental expenditures, even if you did not create or contribute to the contamination.

Who May Conduct a Phase I ESA

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment must be performed by an environmental professional as specified in Section 7.5.1. No practical standard can be designed to eliminate the role judgement and have the value and need for experience in the party performing the inquiry. The professional judgement of an environmental professional is, consequently, vital to the performance of all appropriate inquiries.

American Environmental

We are well versed in numerous, lender-specific scopes of work. Our ESAs include extensive documentation of a property’s environmental condition, providing resolution of detected recognized environmental conditions and, when necessary, recommendations to bring these conditions to closure.

  • Property Overview Assessments
  • ASTM E1527-21 / All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
  • Transaction Screen Questionnaires
  • Client/Lender Specific Phase I Formats
  • Due Diligence Environmental Audits and Transaction Screening
  • Environmental Inspections & Risk Assessments
  • Environmental Impact Statements
  • Asbestos Surveys & Lead Base Paint Surveys
  • Property Condition Assessments
  • Indoor Quality Assessments (Air, Mold, Moisture, and Hazardous Surfaces)

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