A phase I environmental site assessments (ESAs) is generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. ESAs reveal potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities or recognized environmental conditions (RECs) for a piece of real estate, such as: petroleum product storage and retail facilities, chemical residues, dry cleaning facilities, solid waste disposal, agro-chemical storage and application, hazardous substances used on the property, potential asbestos containing building materials, mold, and lead paint.
ESAs are standard practice for most commercial and industrial property transactions and may also be appropriate in the following circumstances:
- Before developing or redeveloping industrial or commercial real estate
- Before acquiring farmland or vacant land
- Presence of stained soil, stressed vegetation, or other signs of environmental concerns
Actual sampling of soil, air, groundwater, and/or building materials is typically not conducted during a Phase I ESA. If we find evidence of an environmental contamination liability, our specialists will present recommendations to proceed with a Phase II ESA, in which appropriate samples are collected to substantiate the presence of the liability. We work with the property owner and potential developers to resolve issues and incorporate them into the property development.