We provide Phase I Environmental Site Assessments to home owners and analytical services to engineering and consulting firms for federal, state, local and private contracts. There is always prompt testing and a high level of customer service for all clients.
Protection of the environment, natural resources, water, soil, air and climate should present a system of behavior and conscientiousness.
We conduct Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) to determine the liability to property owners, property buyers, or lending institutions during financing, mergers and acquisitions, refinancing of commercial real estate, and other situations in order to identify the environmental risks of a site and satisfy the “due diligence” efforts to identify any liabilities associated with a commercial property. There are a variety of names for this process besides a Phase I ESA. Sometimes referred to as a Commercial Property Assessment, a Pollution Liability Inspection, even a due diligence report. Often a Phase 1 ESA is required by the lending institution providing the funding for a purchase or refinancing.
If you purchase or finance a commercial property without performing a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) you very likely will be responsible for any contamination/clean up of the property. If you have a Phase 1 ESA performed following the very strict ASTM-E-1527-13, this “due diligence” process will relieve you of the clean-up or restoration of the property either by placing the responsibility on the original owner (polluter) or it can be covered under the CERCLA regulations – also called Superfund.
Who Needs a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)?
Federal, state and local laws make the current and prior property owners liable for the cost of cleaning up contaminated soils, groundwater, surface water, and hazards within structures or the property (such as lead, asbestos, chemical spills, oil and fuels). If you are buying – or financing – a property, you would want to know if any contamination or hazardous conditions exist on a property before the transaction since you may be paying the cost of clean-up. Clean-up may not just be on your property but any other property including surface and groundwater that may have originated on your property.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments can be difficult to interpret, let our professionals help answer your questions. If your question is not answered yet, please submit your question below.
Why would I need a Phase 1 ESA?
The most common reasons for a Phase 1 ESA include:
- Purchase or sale of a property.
- Financing of a commercial property.
- Re-Financing or second mortgage of a commercial property.
- Change in use of property such as from farmland to school/daycare/playground/park/golf course etc.
- Evidence of clandestine (illegal) dumping, spills.
- Follow-up after flood where sewerage, chemical, or fuel release is suspected.
What does a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Cost?
There is a wide varied of costs to perform a Phase I ESA. As you may have guessed, there is a wide variety of quality on such ESA. Honestly, it can vary based on location, conditions, and variety of other factors. It is best to speak with one of Environmental Concerns, Inc. consultants for detailed pricing.
The ASTM requirements for a Phase I, the most recent of which is ASTM-E-1527-13. This is a rigid protocol and to protect the property owner, buyer, or lending institution. This “due diligence” protocol must be followed rigidly. It is almost a certainty that a price of $1,000 will not rise to the level of quality to satisfy the ASTM requirements and protect you with “due diligence” requirements as well.
It is our belief that the lowest cost to do an ASTM valid and “due diligence” Phase I is in the range of about $2,100 to $4,000 unless it is an unusually large property or has a strong suspicion of environmental contamination (landfill, gas station, factory). There is a reasonable ceiling amount for a Phase I as well. Remember it is only an assessment of the property and buildings and the possible impact of the neighbors. It is not a thorough building inspection, soil sampling or groundwater sampling. It is possible to include samples for items such as asbestos, lead, PCB’s oils, or building contents but these items are generally added to the scope upon request. From experience the maximum, except for extremely large or complex properties is about $8,000.
Speak to one of our consultants for a more detailed pricing breakdown.
How Long Is A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Valid?
Standard says that the intended transaction (usually purchase/sale, or financing) should be within 180 days of the Phase I. Thus if it’s less than 6 months, it should be valid for sure—unless some major event on the property has occurred within 6 months such as a fire, or plant closure, known spill, or flood.
Between 6 months and 1 year generally there is a need to update the information. After 1 year, it certainly should be redone. Performing a new Phase I in less than a year should be somewhat lower in cost since obtaining aerial photos, Sanborn maps and extensive survey of the surrounding properties, may not be necessary—noting that a site visit is still very important.