Real Estate Site Assessments

Phase I ESAs

The purpose of the Phase I is to thoroughly review the history and current conditions of the site in order to identify recognized environmental conditions (REC).  Clients usually obtain a Phase I ESA in order to satisfy due diligence requirements of the “innocent landowner defense” or other available defenses to environmental liability under CERCLA.  

ASTM Compliant Phase I ESAs

AWR routinely prepares Phase I Environmental Site Assessments for a wide variety of clients, including schools and real estate developers.  These Phase I documents are prepared in strict adherence to the ASTM Standard for All Appropriate Inquiry E-1527-13.  

At a minimum, Phase I ESAs from AWR consist of the following components:

  • Reconnaissance of the Site as well as surrounding/adjacent properties
  • A review of historical documentation including fire insurance maps, city directories and aerial photographs
  • Interviews with property owner, tenants, and property managers
  • Local, regional and state agency file review including a review of hazardous material and petroleum product storage, spill and disposal records at the Site and adjacent properties
  • A preparation of a report documenting the findings, conclusions and recommendations

A Phase I ESA that Meets Your Needs

In some cases a full Phase I ESA may not be required, in which case,  AWR offers cost effective alternatives that still provide valuable information on potential environmental liabilities at the property.  AWR will also, upon request, expand  the traditional scope of the ASTM compliant Phase I to generate additional information to meet our client’s specific needs.  

Upon request AWR has:

  • Performed geophysical investigations
  • Mapped Private Utilities
  • Provided “non-scope” recommendations to guide a Phase II investigation   
  • More in depth investigation off-site sources and impacts

AWR has worked with lenders who issue SBA Loans, who often request an ESA with tasks and activities above and beyond the typical ASTM compliant Phase I requirements.  We understand the Phase I process is not perfect and for some projects there can be significant limitations to the scope of an ASTM compliant Phase I.  We evaluate these limitations, and in consultation with the client may identify these items as potential RECs or, in compliance with the standard, as Business Environmental Risks (BERs).

Phase II ESAs

When a Phase I ESA identifies a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) or any other potential environmental contamination, a Phase II Subsurface Investigation may be necessary to further evaluate any potential environmental risk. The purpose of a Phase II Subsurface Investigation is to determine the presence, or absence of, petroleum products or hazardous waste in the subsurface of the site. Our staff of geologists and scientists possess expertise in designing a subsurface investigation to address any and all environmental concerns.

Depending on the project, our Phase II investigations can be done in strict accordance to the ASTM E1903-11 Standard or scoped to meet a client’s specific needs.

A Phase II subsurface investigation provided by AWR may include any of the following:

  • Soil, groundwater, sediment, surface water, and/or soil vapor sampling and analysis
  • Groundwater flow modeling and laboratory analysis
  • Vapor intrusion assessment
  • Contaminant source differentiation
  • Soil Boring and well Installation
  • Applied Geophysics
  • Sensitive Receptor Surveys
  • Contaminant Pathway Evaluations
  • Fate and Transport Evaluations
  • Human Health Risk Assessments
  • Natural Attenuation and Biodegradation Modeling
  • Quality Assurance/Quality Control

If the lab results from the soil, water or groundwater samples indicate a significant problem, or need further delineation or cleanup is required by an agency or by the responsible party, AWR is able to offer assistance and perform further site characterization, risk assessment and/or remediation that may be required.