Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
Phase I Environment Site Assessments (Phase I ESAs) satisfy the requirements of the innocent Landowner Defense to liability imposed by the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Phase I ESAs typically are performed by buyers, sellers, brokers and lenders who are involved in the sale, purchase or lease of industrial, commercial and agricultural properties. Phase I ESAs are typically required by lenders in order to assure that properties do not have environmental impairments that could diminish the value of the property, the ability of the borrower to repay, or the establish baselines to allocate responsibility for clean-up costs.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment
In addition to the Phase I portion of the assessment, Phase II ESAs include soil and ground water and surface sampling in suspect areas. If an environmental hazard is identified or if a known hazard exists based on past usage, a Phase II ESA will evaluate suspect areas identified on the subject property. A Phase II assessment can also be implemented without the Phase I ESA if the interested parties are aware of existing contamination to the property.
Soil samples are collected using hand augers, a Geoprobe or a drill rig. Samples are collected, preserved and shipped to a laboratory for analysis. Ground water samples are collected from the borings or permanent monitoring wells located on the property.
The Phase II ESA report describes the soil borings, soil characteristics, soil and ground water analytical results, and presents the data in tabular format with a map illustrating the sampling locations and site plan. Conclusions are drawn from the data collected onsite, as well as from available local and regional information.
Baseline Environmental Assessment
A Michigan Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) allows people to purchase or begin operating at a facility without being held liable for existing contamination. BEAs are used to gather enough information about the property being transferred so that existing contamination can be distinguished from any new releases that might occur after the new owner or operator takes over the property.
The ASTM Standard E 1528 compliant Transaction Screen Report provides the necessary environmental due diligence for small loans on innocuous sites where the history of the site is well known for at least 60 years.
The Transaction Screen may include the following:
- Site inspection with photographic evidence
- Underground tank agency record search and review
- Review of a computer-generated, 1-mile radius regulatory agency database report with maps
- Completion of up to three detailed questionnaires (owner, inspector, and occupant)
- Report, bound with concise conclusions and recommendations
The Transaction Screen is specifically geared for the following types of properties:
- Commercial properties, office buildings, and retail stores
- Residential properties (housing tracts, apartment complexes, and senior-housing facilities)
- Vacant properties (undeveloped land)