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Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a report generally prepared as part of a real estate transaction, loan refinance, partnership buyout or principal redistribution of ownership or a general site audit for a property which identifies phase1_1potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities.  They are highly recommend and can be required prior to starting new residential developments. The Phase I ESA is generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. Standards for performing a Phase I ESAs have been promulgated by the US EPA and are based in part on ASTM in Standard E1527-05. The most recent standard is "Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries" 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 312  (known as "All Appropriate Inquiries" or "AAI").  U.S. courts have generally held that a buyer, lessor, or lender may be held responsible for cleanup of contamination even if a prior owner caused the contamination.  Performance of a Phase I ESA, according to the courts’ reasoning, creates a safe harbor, known as the "Innocent Landowner Defense" for such a new purchaser or his lenders.

The Phase I ESA generally addresses both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property. Phase I ESAs usually do not include actual collection of physical samples or chemical analyses.  If the Phase I ESA determines that a property has a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC), then a Phase II ESA may be performed which could include the collection and chemical analysis of environmental medial including soil, soil gas and groundwater for contaminants of potential concern. (COPC).

phase1_2EMS has over 20 years of performing simple to highly complex Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (Phase I ESAs) for clients ranging from small business owners to Fortune 500 companies.  Our Phase I ESAs are comprehensive and provide the highest level of reliability and legal defensibility for our clients.  Depending on the scope of the assessment, Phase I ESAs performed by EMS can include the following items: