Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)

Assisting in Real Estate Transactions

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) is typically performed to evaluate current and historical uses of a property as part of a commercial real estate transaction.  The assessment discovers current and historical property uses which have impacted the soil or groundwater beneath the property and could pose a threat to the environment and/or human health. If issues are discovered, there may be a potential liability for the lender and/or owner, and property value. A Phase I ESA completed prior to the closure of a real estate transaction can be used to satisfy the requirements of CERCLA’s innocent land owner defense under All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI).  EGSL Phase I ESA reports comply with current ASTM E1527 unless otherwise warranted.

A Typical Phase I ESA Includes:

  • A site visit to observe current and past conditions and uses of the property and adjacent properties;
  • Review of federal, state, tribal, and local regulatory databases including, but not limited to, underground storage tanks (USTs), above ground storage tanks (ASTs), known or suspected release cases, the storage of hazardous substances and disposal of hazardous wastes including petroleum products, and institutional and engineering controls;
  • Review of historical records, such as historical aerial photographs, fire insurance maps (Sanborn maps), historical city directories, and historical topographic maps;
  • Review of state and local agency records, including but not limited to state environmental agencies, Building Departments, Fire Departments, and Health Departments.
  • Interviews with current and past property owners, operators, and occupants, or others familiar with the property.
  • Interviews with the Report User for title or judicial records for environmental liens and activity and use limitations; specialized knowledge or experience; actual knowledge; commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information; the reason for a significantly lower purchase price; and the reason for the preparation of the Phase I ESA.
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Stopping the Causes.
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