State & Local Government FAQs
Below are common questions we receive regarding environmental services for state and local governments.
Q: What is the purpose of a Phase I ESA?
A Phase I ESA is completed as a due diligence measure for commercial real estate transactions. The completion of a Phase I ESA is not outlined specifically within any federal or state regulations, but the industry standard has been the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) guidance document ASTM E1527-05.
Q: What does a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) entail?
A Phase I includes a title search, a review of applicable state and federal regulatory databases, a review of applicable state and federal files, a review of aerial or satellite photography, a review of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, a site and area reconnaissance and personal interviews. These steps are taken to provide a reasonable inquiry as to the current and historical conditions of the property and its environs.
Q: Are Phase I and II ESAs required?
No. These environmental site assessments are typically lender driven and not regulatory driven. A Phase II is only needed if the evidence found in a Phase I warrants a Phase II.
Q: How long does it take to complete a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment?
A Phase I ESA requires approximately two-three weeks to complete.
Q: How much does a Phase I ESA investigation cost?
The costs associated with a Phase I ESA are dependent on several site-specific conditions. Generally, a Phase I ESA can be completed for $1,800- $2,200.
Q: Who can conduct a Phase I ESA?
You should secure the services of an experienced environmental professional to conduct a Phase I ESA.
Q: What is a Phase II ESA report?
If there is reasonable suspicion that a potential environmental impact has occurred to a property, including the potential for contamination of soil, groundwater and/or surface water, a Phase II ESA may be warranted. A Phase II ESA includes collecting soil and groundwater samples for laboratory analysis and the preparation of a report of the findings.
Q: How long does it take to complete a Phase II ESA?
A Phase II ESA requires approximately two-three weeks to complete.
Q: How much does a Phase II ESA investigation cost?
The cost of a Phase II ESA ranges greatly, depending on several site-specific details. The site specifics include: type of lab analyses required, drilling method needed, soils encountered within the subsurface, access to the subsurface, overhead constraints and other site-specific physical limitations. Therefore, the range of costs associated with a Phase II ESA range between $3,000 - $10,000. GOS strives to provide an accurate price estimate, and we examine the specific site and develop a strategy to minimize costs while ensuring adequate determinations are made to the site conditions.
Q: Who can conduct Phase II ESA?
You should secure the services of an experienced environmental professional to conduct a Phase II ESA. The performance of Phase II investigative activities should be overseen by a registered professional geologist.
Q: What is the difference between a Phase I and a Phase II ESA?
A Phase I ESA involves historical database search and site reconnaissance to determine if the potential exists for environmental impairment. A Phase II ESA includes collecting soil and groundwater samples for laboratory analysis to determine if any environmental impairment has occurred. Phase I ESAs are typically required by a lending institution and the findings are for private use only. A Phase II ESA may be requested by a potential purchaser of a property to assuage their concerns about buying a property with potential environmental liabilities.
Q: What if I find an environmental problem when conducting a Phase I or Phase II ESA?
If a potential environmental issue is uncovered during a Phase I ESA, the environmental consultant may make recommendations for further investigation to the property owner, borrower or lending institution only. No governmental regulatory agency is required to be notified of the findings of a Phase I ESA. However, if environmental impacts are documented by the laboratory analytical reports of soil or groundwater samples collected as part of a Phase II ESA, the environmental consultant will make recommendations on reporting the findings to the applicable regulatory authorities. The environmental consultant will not notify the regulators unless specifically approved by the client to proceed.
If you don’t see your question below, please feel free to contact us and a member of our team will follow up with you.