Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Basics
An Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a report outlining existing or potential environmental liabilities. The report details Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) and identifies environmental contamination that has the potential to impact property values. The Phase I ESA is also needed to demonstrate that prospective landowners have satisfied the "all appropriate inquiry" (AAI) requirement used to establish an innocent landowner defense against CERCLA/"Superfund" liabilities.
Phase I and Phase II ESA services are typically of the most interest to our clients.
Phase I ESA
Phase I ESAs do not involve sampling of air, soil, water, or any other environmental media. Instead, the focus of a Phase I ESA is on the examination of the property, historical records, prior land uses, regulatory records, topographic maps, and interviews with those knowledgeable about the property's history. If the site reconnaissance and document review indicate that RECs are present at the site, then a Phase II ESA may be conducted.
Phase II ESA
Sampling of soil, water, and other environmental media typically takes place in a Phase II ESA to determine which contaminants may be present and to better understand the extent of any contamination quantitatively. Essentially, if RECs are identified during the Phase I ESA, then the Phase II ESA lets us determine the extent of any potential problems. Our environmental experts are skilled samplers, have the tools needed to properly identify and delineate potential contamination, and will work to ensure that you understand the analytical results associated with Phase II ESA work.