Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)
A commercial property environmental inspection, also known as a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), is a comprehensive examination to evaluate any potential environmental liabilities.
This information is vital for buyers, sellers, and lenders to make sure there are no major hazards on the building site that would be very expensive to clean up (remediate) or prohibit the construction process.
The ASTM E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I ESA Process establishes the requirements for a Phase I ESA. The purpose of a Phase I ESA is to identify recognized environmental conditions (RECs).
RECs are defined as the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, past release, or material threat of a release into structures on the property or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property.
A Phase I ESA does not confirm the presence or absence of contamination; rather, it assesses the potential for contamination.
This process includes reviewing historical land use and collecting soil and water samples for laboratory analysis. The ESA also involves interviewing current and former property owners and operators to gather information about past practices that may have impacted the environment.
A Phase Two Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) typically includes indoor air quality (IAQ) testing, drilling or excavating to collect samples of soil and groundwater, as well as testing for hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead.
The inspector also assesses potential safety hazards, including the presence of radiation or underground storage tanks.
In some cases, the inspection may also include an evaluation of a property’s compliance with local, state, and federal regulations pertaining to hazardous waste management and pollution control.
Depending on the results, steps such as remediation and clean up may need to be taken to address the problem. If necessary, removal of contaminated materials and disposal in accordance with regulations may also be required.
Overall, they can provide valuable insight into the current and future risks associated with a property.
The ultimate goal is to identify any potential risks, ensure compliance with regulations, and develop a plan for mitigating any issues.
Ignoring or delaying these issues can result in legal liability and expensive clean-up costs down the line.
U.S. Commercial Building Inspections (USCBI) provides comprehensive Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) services in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties
About this Process
- Review of historical documentation
- Site inspection and reconnaissance
- Interviews with past and current owners, operators, occupants, and neighbors
- Review of governmental records
- A report of findings that may include information on recognized environmental conditions, as well as recommended investigation and/or remediation activities.