The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, or Phase I ESA is often connected to the first step in determining whether a commercial property is at risk of being contaminated. It is a type of report that is typically used by sellers or buyers of the property to either determine if it, or the area surrounding it, needs further investigation to determine the environmental liability risks. You can also know more about phase I environmental site assessments online.
The potential buyer will often run a Phase I ESA to prevent the burden of cleanup on a contaminated property once it becomes theirs while the seller may use the inquiry to improve the marketability of the property.
Unlike the Phase II assessment which uses samples and analytical data to assess the contamination, the Phase I ESA is a report that relies on various types of information to determine if further investigation is required.
Records include information about who owned the property previously and what they used it for. Some types of usage may raise red flags to potential contamination. The same is true for the surrounding land. If it has documentation of contamination or the potential for contamination, it can impact the assessment.
Aerial photographs are typically included in the review, including past photos which are compared to current ones to show the timeline for the development of the property of concern and those surrounding it. Also, agencies like the fire department, health departments, and others are contacted for related information.
Inspection of the Site
The visual inspection of the site and any improvements that have been made to it play an important role in the overall assessment. Photos will be taken, the confines of any structures inspected and observation will be made of property boundary measurements.