Though due diligence can sound like necessary red tape, the importance of a thorough environmental site assessment (ESA) can’t be overstated.
Environmental site assessments evaluate a property for evidence or potential of environmental contamination, and this important part of a real estate transaction is no place for skipping steps or cutting corners. Proper due diligence in your site assessment will protect you from hidden expenses and issues over the long term.
Understanding the importance of a site assessment beyond marking off a checklist, SITEX exceeds American Standard for Testing and Materials (ASTM) requirements to also include unique requirements imposed by HUD and SBA. A typical SITEX site assessment will address:
- Asbestos-containing materials (ACM)
- Lead-based paint (LBP)
- Mold growth
- Lead in drinking water
- Soil contamination
- Groundwater quality
- Surface water quality
- Vapor intrusion
Environmental site assessments are broken into three different phases, with phases beyond the Phase I ESA determined by what is found in the initial assessment.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
A Phase I ESA is an essential step in any commercial real estate transaction. It helps to identify potential environmental risks and limits the buyer’s liability. Some lenders and federal programs require a Phase I ESA before they will approve a loan.
An environmental site assessment that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM E1527-21 or ASTM E2247-16) will protect buyers and lenders from liability under the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) clause of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
A typical Phase I ESA includes:
- A site visit to evaluate the property and adjacent areas
- A report on risks for items including air, water, and ground
- Review of records in federal, state, tribal, and local databases
- Aerial photos, Sanborn maps, city directories, and topographical maps
- Interviews with current and former owners, operators, and occupants
- Review of records from state environmental agencies, local building departments, fire departments, and health departments
SITEX has extensive industry experience ensuring environmental and safety compliance by conducting comprehensive Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. To discuss an assessment for your business, fill out the form to connect with a SITEX expert today.
Phase II Environmental Site Investigations
A Phase II ESA is actually less of an assessment and more of an investigation that can confirm the presence of contamination when a Phase I report indicates the likelihood.
A Phase II ESA can include:
- Asbestos Inspection
- Lead paint inspection/risk assessment
- A geological survey
- Surface and subsurface sampling of soil and water
- Groundwater sampling and laboratory analysis
- Soil vapor analysis
Expert review of the data from a Phase II ESA is vital to ensure the report is accurate and thorough. Trust the experience of a specialized safety service like SITEX to perform any critical environmental site assessments you need. Fill out the form to consult with an expert today.
Phase III Environmental Site Remediation
In the event your Phase II ESA identifies contaminations, a Phase III is required.
A Phase III may include additional sampling and testing, but importantly will introduce a mitigation plan to address identified issues. A remediation plan may include removing contaminated soil or installation of ground water monitoring wells.
Most importantly, the plan must be expertly designed to fully remediate the site and must be compliant to federal, state, and local regulations.
Remediation can range from simple to complex and costly, which is why a partner like SITEX is critical when your commercial real estate plans involve site remediation.
Don’t invest in new real estate without the confidence your site is safe for use. Fill out the form to talk with an expert at SITEX to determine a customized approach to environmental site assessments that ensures you’re compliant and covered.