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Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Explained

Jul 10, 2023 | Environmental Planning | 0 comments

In a commercial real estate transaction, it’s essential to complete a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment—commonly referred to as a Phase I ESA

The purpose of a Phase I ESA is to research the current and historical uses of a property. The intent of this report is to identify potential or existing liabilities as it relates to environmental contamination. It does so by assessing if current or historical uses of the property have impacted the soil or groundwater beneath the property and potentially pose a threat to the environment or to the health of people in the community. 

What If An Issue Is Found Through A Phase I ESA? 

If any issues are found in the research, this could potentially present a liability for the lender and owner of the property and also affect the property’s value. This is why it’s essential to complete a Phase I ESA prior to the closure of a real estate transaction. 

What Type Of Properties Need A Phase I ESA? 

Phase I ESA reports can be conducted for all types of properties, including multi-family residential, vacant land, and land used for industrial, commercial, and agricultural purposes.

What Does A Phase I ESA Entail? 

Each Phase I ESA typically includes a site visit to observe the condition of the property and adjacent properties, a review of historical records, a review of federal, state, tribal, and local regulatory databases, a review of state and local agency records, interviews with current and past users or those familiar with the property, and interviews with the party that will be using the report. 

Once the research has been fully conducted and collected, the findings are evaluated by an Environmental Professional to identify any potential environmental risks to the property, summarize concerns, and provide recommendations about what actions, if any, are needed. 

Common causes of soil or groundwater contamination of a property are hazardous substances like asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint, mold growth, or petroleum products. 

This may potentially occur if the property was used for things like gas stations, auto repair, dry cleaning, manufacturing, or printing. 

Phase I ESA In Utah

Civil Solutions Group specializes in a variety of environmental planning services, including Phase I Environmental Site Assessments.

Contact our team for help with your next project.

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