nvironmental Site Assessments (ESA) are often required by financial lending institutions before backing a commercial loan. New environmental pollution laws created over the past twenty years can transfer costly liability to new owners for contamination done in the past. Many lending institutions have established the policy of fulfilling the U.S. EPA’s ‘All Appropriate Inquiry’ Final Rule (40 C.F.R. Part 312) by performing a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.
ESA’s also help establish an ‘innocent landowner defense’ under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA). As a result, this form of real estate due diligence has emerged to protect both the real estate purchaser and the lending institution from any future liability.
ALC Environmental can assess various types of properties including multi-family, healthcare, industrial, commercial/retail, public buildings, and undeveloped land. Our environmental site assessments meet or exceed the standards set by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Practice E1527-05.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
Standards established under ASTM E 1527-05 is crucial in establishing a SARA innocent landowner defense. Our Phase I Environmental Site Assessments include, but are not limited to:
- Physical Inspection – Examining the site and contiguous properties to gauge the likeliness of contaminant releases and identify areas of concern.
- Environmental Database Search – Conduct research into the historic past uses of the site including state file reviews to ascertain the regulatory history of the site.
- Historical Review – Study historical maps and aerial photographs of the site.
- Geologic and Hydrologic Assessment – Review published data on the geology and hydrogeology of the site.
- Comprehensive Report – Prepare a comprehensive report which includes recommendations and a conclusion statement outlining tasks to be performed going forward (ESA II) or clearing the property of environmental liability.
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment
If the results of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment yields recognized environmental conditions, or as a preliminary response to evidence of a release of a hazardous substance or petroleum product, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is required. A Phase II ESA investigates areas of concern identified in the Phase I ESA and functions as a risk management tool to allow for informed business decisions to be made. This process includes:
- Soil and Groundwater Testing – Installing test borings and groundwater monitoring wells. Collecting and analyze subsurface soil and water samples.
- Asbestos, Mold, Lead Based Paint and Dust Sampling and Tank Testing
- Laboratory analysis – by an independent Federal and State certified commercial laboratory.
- Ground Penetrating Radar Surveys
- Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA) Modeling
- Comprehensive Data Review and Reporting – Data evaluation and comparison of test results to regulatory standards. Data reduction and QA/QC review. Prepare a comprehensive report of results and recommended future actions.
Phase III Environmental Site Assessment
If the findings from the Phase II ESA indicate that contamination of a site is prevalent, ALC Environmental can offer the services of a Phase III Environmental Assessment which determines the nature and extent of contamination and the potential risk to human health, steps which are integral in developing a Remedial Action Plan (Phase IV ESA). Our Phase III ESA includes:
- Classification and delineation of the detected materials in accordance with Local, State, and Federal codes, rules, and regulations for disposal.
- Calculate the volume of impacted soil and/or groundwater.
- Investigate pathways of migration of contaminants through soil and groundwater.
- Notification of the appropriate regulatory body as required.
- Determine site specific remedial goals determined through a quantitative risk assessment model.
- Development of feasible remediation options that include time frames and costs. These options will also consider physical/chemical limitations, construction requirements, environmental and health safety implications, regulatory approval, and public perception.
- Limited Environmental Due Diligence: Transaction Screen Process (standards established under ASTM E 1528-06)