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Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Phase One Site AssessmentA phase one environmental site assessment is a report that has been prepared on a real estate property that identifies recognized environmental conditions. A phase one assessment does not take soil samples, air samples, or samples of any standing buildings. The phase one assessment is simply a visual assessment of the property as outlined in the formerly titled ASTM E 1527-00 in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and other states, now simply ASTM E 1527-13 in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and other states.

Phase 1 Assessment History

In the 1970’s environmental site assessment studies were being tested, but it was not until in the 1980’s that public demand grew in response to land owners being held legally responsible for environmental contamination on their properties caused by previous landowners. Phase One assessments provided the property owners with a legal defense commonly called the “Innocent Landowner Defense”.

When is a Phase One Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Needed?

There are many reasons for needing a site assessment done, the most common being the purchase of a property or when a new or different entity/name is added to the title. Other reasons can include a property owner wanting to understand the history or the land, or has suspicions of the levels of toxins located on the property. Different environmental and safety agencies can also call for an environmental assessment of the property.

What The Phase One Environmental Assessment Covers

Having a ASTM E 1527-13 preformed covers a broad spectrum including the potential for soil contamination, and the quality of the ground water.

Some of the tasks that are performed can include…

  • Visual inspection of the Area –  An inspection that consists of studying the state of the natural vegetation, and the proximity of chemical plants and refineries
  • Risk Assessment – A risk assessment is also taken in regards to neighboring properties
  • Property History – A history of the property is included in the Phase One Environmental Assessment
  • Maps / Photography – Area drainage maps and aerial photography is included in the assessment.
  • Other visual inspections – Including watching for buildings containing asbestos, lead based paint, and more

Modified Phase One Environmental Assessment

After examining information gathered from document reviews, interviews, and visual surveys, we present our findings to our client. If applicable, the report may include recommendations for further investigation. A Modified Phase I ESA may include typical Phase I processes along with isolated testing for such environmental contaminants as asbestos, lead-based paint, and soil-based heavy materials or hydrocarbons.

Who To Call

The ASTM E 1527-13 standard requires the inspector meet the requirements for an Environmental Professional. Often scientists from many different fields are needed to perform the assessment, so most states have a list of active registers able to properly perform site assessments. The assessor should have a current Engineer’s or Geologist’s license with at least three years experience, or have the equivalent of ten years full time experience. If you are the new owner of a property, or even if the property was simply transferred into your name, protecting yourself from potential environmental risks is a smart business decision.

Please contact us (859-689-9222 – KY, 513-367-4100 – OH) to get more information about how we can help your business.