Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA)
Understanding the condition of a property prior to acquisition, development, reclamation (Oil & Gas Sites), re-financing, re-zoning, redevelopment, or ownership through the foreclosure process is necessary to avoid liability concerns relative to potential contamination and intended land-use. CAS Environmental Assessment group consists of a diverse group of environmental professionals experienced in evaluating property conditions to service: Land Developers, lending institutions, insurance companies, realtors, attorneys, Oil & Gas companies and commercial/industrial businesses.
The site assessment process is often implemented in phases. Different terminology is used to describe these phases, but more important are the underlying concepts. The first phase, often referred to as a Phase I ESA or Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI), involves an evaluation of historical and current land use, a site reconnaissance and other information gathering techniques to assess whether a property is or may be subject to actual or potential contamination. A Phase I ESA does not include a sampling and analysis component.
A complete and adequate Phase I ESA must either:
• conclude that there is no reasonable evidence for suspecting the disposal or release of a substance
that may cause, is causing, or has caused adverse effect and that no further assessment is
• conclude that there is potential for a substance release, provide information that can direct a Phase II ESA or remedial activities at the site and where applicable, provide specific explanations of data insufficiencies that prevent the conclusion that substances were not released on the site.
Uses of Phase I ESAs
The information generated in a Phase I ESA can be used by property owners, facility operators, purchasers, lenders and lessees and the environmental professional to make informed decisions about the need for further assessments, property management, facility operations, options for future land use, investment and remedial actions. Uses may also include:
• a regulatory request, order, or direction;
• an initial assessment to identify CoPC and APEC for a subsequent Phase II ESA;
• a liability assessment for a proposed acquisition or potential divestiture of a site;
• a due diligence investigation to inform decision-makers in a real estate or financing agreement;
• a baseline liability assessment for a tenancy at a site; and
• a due diligence investigation in compliance with a corporate environmental stewardship policy.